Friday, September 27, 2013

Habits: Absent vs. Present

There are certain habits (behaviors) the absence of which no one notices.  For not having them one does not get any recognition, no rewards, no atta-boys (or atta-girls).  They simply go unnoticed.  On the flip side, presence of these very same habits has quite the opposite effect.  When they exist, nearly everyone notices, and often everyone except the one who is exhibiting those behaviors.  And because they can be difficult to point out and who after all wants to rock-the-boat, people often don't point them out.  Instead, they simply begin to avoid and move away from the person with such habits.

These habits when in excess can and do lead to damaged public identifies, damaged relationships, and reduced effectiveness and success--both at home and at work.  Furthermore, especially at higher levels, they even derail careers and future prospects. This is because the higher one rises, the more behavior matters and it's what often separates the good from the great.

What are some of these habits?

Below in this post I share some of the most common ones that exist in the workplace.  Thankfully though no single person has all or most of these.  At most they may exhibit 1 or 2 or 3.  Even though few in number, they are often enough to cause significant damage.  Thus it's important to understand what they are, to look out for them, and address them if they exist.

Let's take a look at what some of the most common ones are:
  • Not keeping up-to-date on required skills and knowledge
  • Poor personal hygiene and grooming and inappropriate attire
  • Excessive need to be right..always thinking you have the right answer and the only way or the highway approach
  • Poor at managing commitments...letting things fall through the cracks
  • Failing to admit mistakes...making excuses...passing the buck...blaming others...not accepting personal responsibility
  • Making destructive comments...being argumentative....talking harshly and disrespectfully...shutting down discussions...gossiping and spreading rumors
  • Hurrying through conversations...not listening...constantly interrupting cutting the speaker off...taking over conversations
  • Not being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things...focusing only on what's been done before...limiting discussion as a result
  • Withholding information...not communicating or sharing information...keeping others in the dark
  • Not expressing gratitude or giving proper recognition...not sharing and celebrating success with team members
  • Failing to express regrets...failing to say I am sorry and apologizing when needed
  • Taking credit for other people's work...claiming credit that's not deserved
  • Playing favorites...shooting the messenger
  • Emotionally unstable...getting easily upset...being moody...speaking when angry...being unapproachable
  • Micromanaging...over controlling and meddling...getting too much into the weeds
  • Making threatening and condescending remarks...publicly humiliating others...talking down to people...making snippy comments at expense of others in order to try to look good and to try to show how smart you are
  • Being closed to new learning...not being open to feedback and to learning and growing
  • Being overly judgmental...seeing only the negative in others
  • Not seeing multiple perspectives before making important decisions...jumping to conclusions and making dis-empowering assumptions
  • Constantly complaining rather than taking ownership...being overly focused on problems, on what's not right, on why something won't work as opposed to striving to find solutions, on what's right, and on how to make it work...being Mr. Negative...Ms. Debbie Downer
  • Not being available for team members when they need you
  • Putting personal agendas ahead of team and organizational goals
Now that you know what some of the most common ones are, take a honest look in the mirror.  If you are exhibiting any of these behaviors, I urge you to get help sooner then later.  This is because unbeknownst to you, the presence of these habits could be sabotaging your relationships, your career, your effectiveness, and your success -- all the while leaving you wondering why people keep avoiding and leaving you and why you're not getting the results you say you want.  You can break these habits, if you choose to.

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