Whether you are the boss or hope to become the boss, you should never be bossy. You need a strong team to succeed and relationship-building work habits are the best way to do that, here are a few:

1) Don’t send spreadsheets or other documents without checking them on print preview. Whether or not the recipient plans to print the document is irrelevant, if it takes them 20 minutes to format so they can print, they will not be very happy with you. Don’t leave widows or orphans, format to the appropriate size paper, try to fit to one page whenever possible…you get the picture.

2) Don’t send emails to discuss tense or emotional issues, a face-to-face conversation is more appropriate. You can follow-up with an email to document the conversation, but don’t engage in a conversation via email and I don’t care who started it.

3) At least try to figure things out on your own. The internet is really handy. If you are asked to create a PowerPoint, but don’t have a lot of experience, look for tips or even an online course. DO NOT ever say “I don’t know how to do this.” That statement would be appropriate in an operating room, but in an office you should make an attempt to figure it out on your own.


4) Keep your emotions in check. Yelling, cursing, crying and other emotional outbursts should be kept to a minimum. We are all human, so chances are good that at some point you may have an emotional outburst, if so, apologize as needed. In the future, try to be more in touch with your feelings and deal with them in advance. Often an outburst is the culmination of a lot of little things, not the event directly preceding the outburst.

5) Say less, listen more. If you have an opinion about everything, your opinion will no longer matter. At meetings, listen first and then provide input only if you have a genuine contribution. Stay focused on the outcome. Talking over others or telling them what is wrong with their idea is not the best way to get your way.


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