I don’t want to disturb you. But it’s possible that you might be sabotaging your workplace – without even realizing it! According to the book, “Simple Sabotage: A Modern Manual for Detecting and Rooting Out Everyday Behaviors That Undermine Your Workplace,” there are certain behaviors that often seem innocent but can actually have damaging effects. They can have a negative impact on both productivity and morale.

They include the following:

  • Insisting that things must always be done through the proper channels. Not allowing any short-cuts, even when they make sense.
  • Making a lot of speeches during meetings. Talking at length about your personal experiences and telling long stories about things that have happened to you in the past.
  • Recommending that all decisions be made by large committees of at least five people.
  • Derailing conversations by bringing up irrelevant issues that send everyone off on a tangent.
  • Worrying over every word used in documents and emails. Getting into lengthy debates about why one word should be used instead of another.
  • Bringing up decisions that were already made and indicating that you’d like to discuss these matters further.
  • Always advising your coworkers to be cautious, not to take any chances, and not to be hasty.
  • Waiting until a decision is made, and then suggesting that your group shouldn’t be the one making this decision. Recommending that people with more power in the organization should be involved.

Do you see yourself in this list? If so, you might want to try changing your ways! Even though you’re probably trying to be helpful and follow the rules, these behaviors often make it harder for people to work together and get things accomplished.


Duncan, R. D. (2015, December 4). Eight behaviors that sabotage your workplace. Forbes. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rodgerdeanduncan/2015/12/04/eight-behaviors-that-sabotage-your-workplace/

Galford, R. M., Frisch, B., & Greene, C. (2015). Simple sabotage: A modern field manual for detecting & rooting out everyday behaviors that undermine your workplace. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publisher.