4 Signs You're Not Taking Your Best To Work



Most of us have little idea how the way we think and behave affects those around us.

Of course, it's true in all parts of our lives, but the costliest is at work. While you're working hard and believe you're doing your best, it's worth considering these four signs that you're not taking your best to the office. Dropping any one or several of these habits could improve your performance ~ and personal well-being.

1. Gossip

Often when we begin a team program, we'll interview every member of the team to get their view of things, and ask what they believe are the biggest issues. Most people are honest about what they're thinking and observing, but a majority often describe how the issues are some one else's fault. At the end of the interview I often said, with a chuckle, You know, in these interviews I'm always talking to the innocent party.

You may have heard that gossip kills organizations, and I couldn't agree more. It divides people, takes the attention off what we're here to do, and spreads negative perceptions about others. If you've ever been the victim of gossip, you know how that saps you energy.

The heart of the transformation of a team or of any kind of organization begins with alignment ~ a culture in which the cliques dissolve and stop coming together to talk about what's wrong.

Whether it’s a global business, a school, a church, or a small partnership, talking behind others’ backs is a drain on the office. Fueling a negative perception about the boss, a direct report, or even a client diminishes the success of the organization. In his Forbes magazine article Mike Myatt calls it the fastest way to kill corporate culture:

“The emotional distress and political discord associated with gossip undermines workplace performance, and can be nothing short of disastrous.” 

2. Distraction and inattention

Whether you're aware of it or not, when you take your attention away in a meeting, you're sapping the energy of the entire meeting. Acting like you're taking notes on your laptop but actually reading emails ~ or dropping your gaze to your lap while responding to texts sends the message, I'm so important I have to deal with this right away. Really?

If someone is talking in a meeting about a problem or a new idea, and you begin to think he or she is an idiot, talks too much, or doesn't know what they're talking about, and you know better, but you don't graciously offer your idea.

You are more powerful and visible than you imagine. When your thoughts and behavior take your attention away from contributing to a valuable meeting, the team suffers. Try it next time you notice you're judging or not paying attention. Catch yourself at it and put your intention and intention back on making the meeting work.

3. Avoiding taking the lead

Is your job to be a passenger on the team, following someone else's lead, doing what you're told. Many have a mindset of It's not my job to lead, to take responsibility for the problem, or to think like a leader about what should be done.

But next time you have an idea that would help a colleague or the team, prepare your remarks from the perspective of being the leader. Perhaps even talk with your boss about the idea ahead of time and offer to make a plan to take it forward. Leaders like nothing more than for members of the team to step up and share responsibility for making things work.

4. Wishing you weren't here

What's your first thought when your alarm goes off? Is it a weekend or a work day? Oh, s***, it's a work day!

We can fall into the pattern of saving our best for the rest of your life, but resist having to go to this particular job. Pays well, lots of benefits, but you just don't like going there. You don't like the work, dislike the boss, etc.

Could this just be an attitude? Could you have just written a long story ~ adding proof as you go along ~ about why you don't like to go to work?

Would you like to feel more positive about going to work, make it more enjoyable, contribute more, make it more meaningful?

Then let go, create a story that draws you to work, and begin to make the difference you were hired to make.

Next steps

  1. Make note of the signs that apply to you.
  2. Choose one to shift to a more positive and responsible approach.
  3. Watch what happens.


If this article gives you food for thought, and there are changes you want to make in your team and in yourself, imagine what a Best Year Yet® team program could guide you into impacting all aspects of your team's development, performance, and results. To find out more about integrating these Best Year Yet® practices (and many more) into your business, contact

About the Author


Jinny is the founder of Best Year Yet® and the author of Your Best Year Yet! The system has over 1 million individual and organizational users around the world.

Jinny's purpose is to support people to use their gifts to have dreams come true and to know that they matter. She is one of the first founders of the modern coaching movement, and a regular contributor to Thrive Global and LinkedIn, having written eight years for The Huffington Post. She’s the first to say none of this could have happened without her family, the clients, and the global team, all of whom contributed valuable knowledge, skill and talent to bring the program to its worldwide status. Jinny started coaching business leaders and executives 37 years ago, and in the early 1990’s her work evolved to include top business teams and organization-wide programs, designed to transform the way people work together to achieve better results and build happier companies. The Best Year Yet® Partners have worked with such organizations as Zurich Insurance Group, NatWest Bank, Bank of the West USA, Heineken, Pepsico and such nonprofits as The Hunger Project, Wounded Warriors, and the Humane Society ~ as well as smaller businesses, schools, and charities around the world. Jinny is currently writing a new book and coaching leaders. Her blessings are a happy marriage of 37 years, two remarkable sons, two perfect daughters-in-law, and four beautiful granddaughters.

Start your own Best Year Yet® today at or contact us at to learn more about how to bring Best Year Yet® into your business or organization.

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