Rules of workplace etiquette

You would be surprised by how even the littlest things can force a wedge between you and your co-workers. Day after day of smelling your perfume or stinky lunches or too often having to listen to you take personal calls can drive coworkers to the brink. They may not know how to communicate the problem to you, and so they act out with rudeness or avoidance. If you follow these rules, you will do your part to reduce conflict at work.


  • Talk on the phone loudly—especially on personal calls.
  • Show up late for meetings.
  • Be nosy, looking over a co-worker’s shoulder to check out his or computer screen.
  • Take supplies from teammates’ desks without asking.
  • Chew gum loudly or talk with your mouth full of food.
  • Wear too much perfume or cologne.
  • Gossip.
  • Ask others to lie or cover for you.
  • Talk religion or politics in the office.
  • Tell offensive jokes.
  • Watch inappropriate videos.
  • Use obscenities and profanity regularly in work settings.
  • Show up late for meetings or miss team events.
  • Take personal time at the last minute, often leaving co-workers in the lurch.


  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Refill or replace something when you take or use the last of it (coffee, printer ink, pens).
  • Say “Please” and “Thank You.”
  • Share credit with those who deserve it.
  • Accept blame when you make a mistake.
  • Pull your own weight.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Turn your cell phone ringer off during meetings.

If your co-workers are the ones lacking manners, purchase The Co-Worker from Hell: Successfully Manage Your Most Challenging Work Relationships to discover how to minimize conflict with hellish coworkers, confront their behavior head-on, resolve your issues and move toward a successful work relationship.

This training kit includes the following:

  • 75-page binder full of advice, quick tips, assessments and worksheets.
  • CD of customizable, print-ready forms.
  • 60-minute audio conference presentation Dealing With the Co-Worker From Hell with PowerPoint Presentaton and pdf of the presentation slides.
  • 60-minute audio conference presentation How to Manage Frenemies, Friction & Frustration at Work with PowerPoint Presentaton and pdf of the presentation slides.

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