Managers and Workplace Behavior: 5 Essential Tips for Success at Work

By David Workman,

Managerial Coaching in La Jolla


When it comes to professionalism in the workplace, most of us anticipate a certain level of respect along with a spirit of mutual collaboration. But, as many of us can attest, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, more often than not, most of us have at least one person at work that bewilders us and the rest of the office when it comes to conduct in the workplace.

According to a recent article at Business2Community, even though we may plainly see poor workplace behavior as unprofessional, the conduct is actually producing some kind of benefit for the individual. As perplexing as it may sound, it’s true.

Take for example a coworker known for his rude commentary and off-handed jokes. While most others are likely to view the behavior as obnoxious, the conduct may in fact produce ancillary benefits for his ego and perceived superiority. And even though that same coworker may have been told a million times that his behavior is unprofessional, the inspiration to inflate his self-worth through rude behavior remains a greater motivation than adhering to common sense.

It’s a simple case of human nature at work.


A major problem in the workplace is that most people lack self-awareness. They don’t understand the impact of their behavior on others. While it may be painfully obvious to others in the workplace, alternative motivations – as irrational and risky as they may be – are likely to be the culprit.

The truth is that most individuals fail at work on the basis of poor relationship skills and an inability to change. In this case, it’s no surprise to learn that the base rate of incompetence at work is 65 percent.

So, just how exactly is the problem solved?

When it comes to bad behavior, the boss – not HR – should be addressing the issue. To create harmony in the workplace while improving professional conduct, a manager should strive to:

1. SET CLEAR GOALS. Make sure your employees are aware of expectations including those related to behavior and job function.

2. ENCOURAGE PERFORMANCE. Fifty percent of performance comes from the right behavior. Although most managers are conflict avoiders, with the proper training, they can learn how to provide feedback while encouraging performance.

3. PROVIDE ONGOING COACHING. Thirty percent of people are blocked personal learners. When they get feedback, they become defensive because they are being pushed out of their comfort zone. Most employees place value on control and predictability, but when feedback is presented neutrally and frequently, the pressure placed on both managers and employees when it comes to ongoing coaching becomes an easier process.

4. HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE. Unfortunately, most managers lack the skills to coach people to more effective outcomes. Being held accountable means linking a change in behavior to real priority work while demonstrating what can be done differently to be more effective in day-to-day job performance.

5. DELIVER CONSEQUENCES. Learning is reinforced by consequences. Without consequences, people don’t learn or change. People need to understand why they are paid to come to work and development must be tied to real work.

Management coaching reinforces these priorities and leads to positive changes in the workplace – both in job expectations and behavior. For more information on how management coaching can improve your workplace, log onto or call (858) 246-6210 for more information.

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Sep 12, 2013. Filed under Columns, David Workman, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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