Career crisis | 7 signs your co-workers think you're dumb

7 signs your co-workers think you're dumb

Maintaining a respected position in your company isn’t just an aesthetically satisfying move; having the admiration of your peers and colleagues means that you’ll be considered before others for high-profile projects, asked for input in important decisions and even potentially fast-tracked for promotions.

Being respected can quite literally transform your career prospects. So how do you gain respect?

Obviously working hard and outputting consistently strong performance are the keys to gaining the respect of others, but these have to be coupled with the ability to cultivate a strong corporate image. This means, unfortunately, having to be conscious of your actions and measured at all times when in any corporate environments.

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Many careers have been sabotaged when the lines between personal and corporate conduct are blurred. For example, colleagues will lose respect for you instantly if your office demeanour is professional, yet at work drinks events you drink too much and embarrass yourself.

The last thing you want is to be labelled the ‘office clown’; this is an easy role to fall into, but an almost impossible one to claw yourself out from.

So, what are the signs that your colleagues are losing respect for you? These are essential to recognise, as catching such a situation early will prevent bigger issues further down the line.

  1. Constantly arguing with you

    Yes, debating with colleagues is a normal part of corporate life, yet if you usually receive the backing of your team, and now find yourself fighting against a constant stream of disagreements and arguments, you’re losing their respect. 

  2. Lack of communication

    Respected workers’ opinions are valued. As such, you may be asked about things both within and outside of your professional remit. It can be stressful at times but having your advice and point of views valued is also a huge part of being seen as an essential team member. However, dish out poor advice or unsubstantiated opinions and soon you’ll find such doors are closed to you. 

  3. Body language 

    It’s a simple one to read too much into, but in the corporate world body language is important; being aware of your own body language will help you gain respect, but being aware of others is a good gauge of how they feel about you. If people speak to you with crossed arms, or refuse to make eye contact, there’s a good chance that they don’t see you as an equal. 

  4. They’re surprised when you succeed

    No one raises their eyes when a successful business leader achieves their goals. In fact, it’s expected of you as a competent employee to deliver on your projects, yet when someone who is known for botching or failing on tasks is revealed to have done a good job, the surprise in your colleagues’ voices will be audible. It’s a knee-jerk reaction that offers an insight into their feelings on your competency.

  5. They refuse to help 

    No one wants to be associated with the sinking ship. Bad employees are like a black hole in that they often drag others in with them as they fail. As such, when asking for help, you may be receiving a lot of excuses or flat out refusals from your colleagues. This isn’t a good sign. 

  6. Excuses, excuses, excuses 

    When you aren’t achieving, you’ll find yourself having to make up excuse after excuse for why things aren’t as they should be. This is often a path that can lead only to being fired, unless significant changes are made. When a business leader makes an excuse, people are willing to let it slide; when a dumb colleague does the same thing, people will call them on it. 

  7. Deep down, you know it 

    If you really are as incompetent as your colleagues believe you to be, there’s a good chance that deep down, you’re aware that it’s true. Only by accepting it yourself can you make any real change in your life. If the situation has gotten this bad, chances are you need a new start to reinvent yourself.



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