This April, Don’t Be The Office Fool

Just about, everyone enjoys a good laugh around the office. Many of us will be channeling our inner Jim Halpert from the television series, The Office this April Fool’s Day.

Laughter in the workplace is not only good for one’s health, but also for workplace wellness according to the American Association for Therapeutic Humor. The list of credits includes promoting team building, managing stress and increasing productivity.

While laughter can be good for business, make sure your coworkers are laughing with you and not at you. I don’t mean avoid being the target of a fun April Fool’s Day prank. I’m talking about not being the fool all year-round.

Here are three office stooges you don’t want to be:

The Complainer

These fools always find just about anything to complain about. It could be a glorious day outside with the sun shining and birds chirping, but to them it’s too bright and noisy.

We all have bad days at the office and it’s ok to sometimes just get things off our chest. The problem with chronic complainers is that they’re not looking to solve a problem; they’re just looking for validation. Don’t fall in to the trap of yessing them in order to get rid of them. If you agree with them now, they might recruit you on their glass half empty crusade later.

A young person I mentor found herself in an uncomfortable situation when a colleague dropped her name during a conversation with the Human Resources representative at her company. While she did have some issues with her workplace dynamic, she wasn’t ready to go public.

Learn from her experience and avoid being outed by a complainer; just pass some cheese with that whine and be done with it.

The Romeo

“You didn’t hear it from me, but let me tell you…

Some of the best novelas, Spanish language television nighttime soaps I’ve seen happen at work. An office romance can damage you professionally and personally.

I worked with an office Casanova who thought the newsroom was his personal matchmaking service! It was always a special treat to be between the crossfire of dirty looks from scorned women at a conference room meeting.

Do not be the dunce who gets involved with a coworker. You might think you two are being discreet, but trust me, it’s not working. Relationships are challenging enough without having a captive workplace audience. I’m not suggesting you don’t nurture friendships at work, but think twice, as even those situations can negatively affect your professional relationship with superiors and subordinates.

Just remember that the office isn’t Tinder, you can’t swipe your way out of sticky situations.

The Groupthinker

There’s no bigger buzz kill to workplace innovation than a groupthinker.

These types of saps are overly confident to the point of being arrogant because of the comfort that team culture provides. “This is the way we do things around here” is a common anthem I hear from the creatively challenged. They fail to see that the strategies, which got them here won’t necessarily get them over there. Stay away from these herds of long-termers and embrace being the disrupter by challenging the status of all things.

Success depends on our ability to find new and better ways to accomplish tasks. In an ever-changing business landscape, largely driven by technology, it is imperative for companies to nurture a staff of diverse critical thinkers. In order to infuse a culture of innovation in the workplace, you need to be willing to step away from the crowd and embrace feeling uncomfortable.

You can find more articles like these on Straight Talk.

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