Everyone hates to work with a jerk. So how can you do your best not to be the office asshole? I think there are some simple steps to follow that just might help you to be a better person to work with.
I have to give credit where credit is due. I recently read Marshall Goldsmith’s book “What Got You Here Won’t Get you There” which addresses how company executives should improve their behavior the higher up the corporate ladder they go. This is a great and inspiration book. And I think that a lot of the principles discussed not only apply to higher up executives but to any level employee.
Be a better co-worker
1. Check your ego at the door
No one wants to work with some who thinks their are “hot shit.” Being a UX designer means being part of a team. Yes a team. And that means playing well and working well with others. No one likes a prima donna. And sure, as a UX designer, you might carry some skills that others do not possess. But other team members have skills that YOU do not process. Keep that in mind.
This is pretty self explanatory. Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. As Judge Judy says: “God gave you one mouth and two ears for a reason.”
3. Adding too much value
This is very close to the “Listen” point stated above. Not only should you talk less and listen more, but what you say should be valuable. That value is gauged more by who is listening than what YOU think is valuable to the conversation. You don’t always have to “one up” the person talking.
- Your story is not always more interesting.
- You example is not always better.
- You are not always smarter.
- You don’t always have the best solution.
4. Claiming credit you don’t deserve
No one likes the person who claims to have done everything. Back to that “UX is part of the team” concept. Make sure that you pipe up when someone has contributed in some say. Not only will the person appreciate the acknowledgement, but it will also show that you are a true team player.
5. Starting with ‘No,’ ‘But’ or ‘However’
This has been a particularly tough one for me at times. You hear a crazy idea or something that won’t work and you think, “There is no way that is going to happen.” But starting off negatively can really harm a conversation. Try to think on the bright side. Or at the very least, don’t shoot an idea down right away by starting off on a negative wrong foot. Keep an open mind and always start with a positive phrase rather than negative. Try to remove No, But and However from your conversation.
6. Refusing to express regret
People like others who are humble. Fess up to a mistake, and that will be remembered. We are human, and we all mess up from time to time. A brave person admits when they have done wrong. UX is all about learning from mistakes. You are no exception. It takes a big person to admit wrong-doing. Be that person. Be humble.