Every office has one — that colleague you try to avoid at all costs.
Maybe they don't listen, complain too much, waffle on endlessly or hijack your stories to make it all about them — but whatever the reason, conversations with them always seem like a chore.
According to communication expert and Don't Be A D!ck author Darren Fleming, there are eight surprisingly common conversation mistakes people tend to make — and they could be harming your career.
Fleming told news.com.au the worst and most widespread bad communication habits included people who are narcissistic big-noters, those who bore others to tears, those who are constantly negative and those who seem completely disinterested during conversations.
"If you're a boss who is always 'me, me, me' or a big-noter, what happens is people don't want to work for you. And if you're a staff member wanting to move up the ranks, it's about how well you connect with people, which is difficult if you're constantly big-noting, repeating stories people have heard before or if people get the feeling you're bored with them," he said.
"If you're in a sales situation with a client or around the water cooler with a colleague and you're constantly checking your phone for example, you won't get that connection.
"And if you're not getting that warmth and connection you can get overlooked for promotions which can be bad for your career but you can also be overlooked for certain projects which just seem like good fun, or if colleagues go out for coffee you might not be asked. It's about the big and small picture."
Fleming said social media was a big driver of narcissistic behaviour which could carry into the workplace.
"Generation Y and younger have never known a time where they couldn't broadcast themselves to the world … and as such, some don't think to reach out to other people," he said.
But the good news is that bad communication habits can be corrected.
"The first step is to accept you've got a problem and to debrief — while you're walking away from a conversation, ask yourself, 'Was I fair and balanced by letting everyone contribute, and was my conversation positive?'" Fleming said.
"If you see someone on their own at office drinks, invite them into your group. Listen to other people, be curious and ask more questions. A bit of compassion goes a long way."
Fleming also revealed the eight most common conversation blunders.
Me, me, me:
Fleming said narcissists makes everything you say about them.
"If you say you've just come back from a trip to Europe, they will tell you all about their trip to Europe. When you speak of something interesting you did while you were there, they will tell you what they did at the same place," he said.
In a similar vein, big-noters try to outdo others, and see conversations as a competition.
"They always have a better story than you, work harder than you and have it tougher than you — or anybody else," Fleming said.
Repeaters tell the same story over and over again, boring those around them.
"If this is you, look for ordinary stories that are not over the top. Ordinary stories are easier to find and more relatable as well," Fleming said.
Bores take forever to tell a story and go into irrelevant detail.
"By the time they have reached the conclusion of the story they have forgotten why they were sharing it," Fleming said.
The black hole:
These people bring negative vibes to conversations and love to complain.
"If they have just received a pay rise they will complain about the extra tax they have to pay. If they are going on a holiday, they complain about how crowded the airport and beaches will be," Fleming said.
People who fall into this category will be quiet while you speak, but won't actually listen to what you have to say.
"The bored doesn't understand that a conversation is about ideas building on each other in a related manner. They simply say what they want to say, regardless of what you have said," Fleming said.
These individuals need to be checking their phone, computer or tablet while others speak.
"They tell you they are listening, but when they next speak it is clear they were not," Fleming said.