MORE ON CAREERADDICT

How to Break Free From the Mold of the Office Know-It-All

If you’ve been classified as the office know-it-all, your colleagues have most likely labeled you as such for good reason. You’re the employee who has an answer for everything and your radicalized ego knows no bounds. When someone has a problem, you feel the need to step in to fix it, even if you truly have no idea what you’re doing. You think more highly of your intelligence level than you actually should. Your constant need to tell everyone your opinion on all matters has quickly become old in the workplace and has driven your colleagues to hide when they see you coming down the hall. However, if you want to avoid annoying your cubicle mates and break free from the mold of the office know-it-all, you should consider implementing the following steps into your work day.

See Also: How to Stand Out From the Crowd and Get Promoted

1. Deradicalize Your Overblown Ego

The office know-it-all has an extremely overblown ego and thinks that he is God’s gift to all mankind. This individual does not operate under the mindset of humility and thinks that his way is the best way to get the job done. If you want to break free from this mold, it is important to start by deradicalizing your ego. Realize that you are not the be all and end all and are completely fallible like the rest of us mere mortals. When you have such an overblown ego, that mindset gets in the way of you being successful in your job. You are too busy constantly trying to push your opinions on others, rather than acknowledging that it’s quite possible you could be wrong about something.


If you hope to become a more effective professional, you must work to walk in humility while accepting constructive criticism from your manager and various team members. Don’t expect to get ahead simply because you think you are the best. There are other individuals who are better than you and who have cultivated success for themselves by walking in a humble manner and accepting help when necessary to complete their professional goals.

2. Don't Become Overly Argumentative

Another way to break free from the mold of the office know-it-all is to stop being overly argumentative. We get it that you have a wealth of knowledge (or so you think) and you cannot stop arguing your specific point of view. However, office know-it-alls quickly turn their colleagues away by constantly wanting to argue with them. If you’re working on a team project, you need to learn how to become a team player and be able to work well with others in a conflict-free workplace environment. However, as the office know-it-all, you’d rather argue simply for the sake of arguing. That is a complete waste of everyone’s time, including your own.

How can you expect to make anything out of your professional life if you constantly push others away by being overly argumentative? If you want to break free from the mold, focus on toning down your dissemination of information. Become an active listener rather than the individual who simply loves to hear himself talk. Turn your attention to your colleagues in a manner that exhibits respect and a desire to communicate in a non-conflictive manner.

3. Stop Oversharing Your Opinion

Another way to break free from the mold of the office know-it-all is to stop oversharing your opinion. Not everyone in your workplace wants (or needs) to know your opinion in order to get their work completed. It’s one thing to offer advice when warranted and asked for. However, if you constantly go around the office acting out your know-it-all code of oversharing your opinion, you will completely alienate your colleagues and frustrate your manager. The last thing your manager needs is to have you walking around the office sharing your opinion in a forceful manner where it is not needed or appreciated. Such negative and prideful behavior will only serve one purpose of causing needless disharmony in the office. That is definitely not a positive purpose that you want to be chasing after if you hope to become more successful in your professional career.

Learn how to think before you speak. Make an effort to control your tongue so that you only share your opinion and thoughts when the situation calls for your assistance. Focus on completing your own daily job tasks rather than oversharing your point of view in the workplace. Learn to tell the difference between a coworker who does not want to hear what you have to say and the one who would like to know your opinion on a matter.

4. Refrain From Interfering in Work Tasks

Another way to break free from the mold of the office know-it-all is to refrain from interfering in your coworkers’ work tasks. Not only are your opinions many times unwelcome but so is your interference in your coworkers’ daily tasks, too. On rare occasions, your colleagues may ask you for help. However, as the office know-it-all, your interference has often become a stumbling block to the positive and productive atmosphere in the workplace. Anything that hinders the productive environment is something that your manager has every right to take issue with. So, if you want to become more successful and break free from this mold, stop interfering where and when you are not needed.

Learn how to channel that pent-up energy into completing your own work tasks. It will most likely be difficult to change your behavior to model this new and improved method of operations, but changing your ways is vital if you want to succeed in your job and advance your career. Your manager will appreciate your efforts more when you make a concerted effort to focus solely on completing your own daily responsibilities rather than becoming a nuisance and interfering in your coworkers’ day-to-day work tasks.

Breaking free from the mold of the office know-it-all can be a daunting task. However, those who make an effort to change their negative ways to a more productive working style will increase their chances of success in the workplace. Managers do not want to deal with the negative repercussions of having a know-it-all employee wreaking havoc in the workplace. Rather, they want to ensure that the workplace environment is as positive and productive as possible.

It is important that you refocus your perspective so that your ego becomes deradicalized if you really want to break free from the mold of the office know-it-all. Continue to work hard at tempering your tone so that you do not come off as extremely argumentative with your work colleagues. Make an effort to stop oversharing your opinion on every subject and issue that arises in the workplace. Remember that not everyone wants to hear your opinions all the time. Finally, focus on finding ways to stop yourself from interfering in the productivity of the workplace. Stop meddling in your coworkers’ ability to effectively complete job tasks in a timely manner within deadlines, and focus on getting your own work done to become more successful at your job.

Have you been labeled as the office know-it-all? If you have, what steps have you taken to revamp your mindset and break free from the mold? Have you ever had to deal with a decreased productive workplace atmosphere because of a meddling know-it-all? Let us know in the comments section below!