Seven Signs that You Might (er, Definitely Do) Suck at Work

We all like to think of ourselves as indispensable — this company would never survive without me! — but as the old saying goes, “water rises to its own level”. In reality, when you’re removed from your current work equation, nobody’s gonna miss you as much as you miss (or don’t miss) them.

Ever get the feeling that your team doesn’t value you? That you’re constantly being misunderstood? That you spend most of your time apologizing or trying to figure out why you didn’t get your message across at that last meeting?

Here are seven things that might indicate why you suck at work.

1. You don’t understand your impact on those around you.

We see it every day: a lack of understanding of your inherited personality. It’s one thing to take a personality assessment; it’s another to take the results of that assessment, understand them, and apply them to your everyday work life.

At DSAW, we teach the S.A.M.E. principle of communication in our workshops and coaching.

  • Stop and set your intention before every conversation.
  • Assess and map the personality of the person you are working with.
  • Move toward the needs of the other person — their trust patterns and motivations.
  • Expect results in your communication.

2. You use triangulation tactics to create drama.

This is a classic sign that you’re working in your stress pattern. Fear and self-protection are the only reasons unhealthy triangulation is ever used. Yep. We’re serious. It’s a tell-tale sign that you’re insecure, have feelings of self-hatred, and that you don’t know how to address those feelings other than pointing a finger at another person. What is triangulation? It’s when you seek out a third party to vent about an issue you have with someone else, like an employee, boss or co-worker. Some people like to call it ‘feedback’ but it is really just toxic bullsh*t. Stop it.

3. You lack the desired skill set.

Competency is one of the primary reasons that people end work relationships. Admit when you don’t know what you don’t know. This opens the door for you to learn and someone to teach you. Admit when you know what you don’t know. Yes, that is a brain teaser. It’s so cool to be vulnerable these days. People actually want to help. Unless they’re doing #4.

4. You blame.

We all do it. We look outside ourselves to find a reason for the way we behave or what we think. We resist taking personal responsibility because that requires a bit of reflection and vulnerability. The stories we create are epic. Own your stuff. It’s not anyone else’s fault.

5. You control.

Being in charge and owning your work is admirable. Trying to control every detail of someone else’s work is not. Even if you are a manager, you are not responsible for every move of everyone around you. You know how it feels to have someone breathing down your neck, and constantly telling you how to do things “the best way.” Stop doing it to those around you.

Micromanagement sucks. Stop it.

6. You don’t put yourself first.

When you don’t care for your mental, emotional, and physical self, you put yourself at risk for burnout. This also puts you into your stress pattern, which is the worst place for you to be. Contrary to popular belief, putting yourself first — ”first” here means “before literally everything else” — won’t cause you to finish last. Quite the opposite. You’ll finish first. You’ll be the person everyone looks at and thinks, “How do they do it?!” And you will create vast reserves which you can use to help others. Which is really what this is about.

7. Everything is all about you.

Honestly, no one at work really cares about your boob job, your awful break-up, or your alcoholic father. While these are interesting facts of your life and they make up the fabric of who you are, your coworkers — or your HR team — maybe aren’t the best people to unload that information on.

Do it the DSAW way:

Take care of yourself. Believe in yourself. Stop blaming others to give yourself a place to hide. Take responsibility and own your role. Prove to yourself, and others, that you are a valuable member of the team. You’re a rock star. You deserve the spotlight — and sometimes that means you’ll still be standing in the spotlight when you make a mistake. Learn to live in those moments — take ownership of your actions — and your personal sense of pride and your value to your team will skyrocket. Remember that you are beautiful just the way you are. Deal with your life stuff and bring your best self to work. Everyone on your team will thank you.

Want to learn more? Jump on over to