Many top performers at their companies suck at managing or leading. That’s because the same competitive drive that led them to the top can also cause an all-out war with peers. This article “Get rid of these bad habits to become a better co-worker” is to list those habits.
In the book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, top executive coach Marshall Goldsmith breaks down the bad habits that are stopping many people from climbing higher in their careers.
1. An overwhelming need to win. Even the trivial stuff.
Your desire to win made you successful. However, you run the risk of wanting to win every argument, which could ruin your relationships with colleagues, spouses, and even your kids. Know when to compromise to become a better co-worker.
2. Giving your input or meddling when it isn’t helpful.
You like telling everyone what to do instead of letting them figure it out. However, giving too much input could cause your subordinates to be less committed to an initiative or idea, since it didn’t come from them. While your idea might be better, the trade-off is less enthusiasm from your colleagues.
“The higher up you go in your organization, the more you need to make other people winners and not make it about winning yourself,” writes Marshall.
3. Passing judgement on people after they give suggestions or feedback.
When people offer useful suggestions with or without our asking, we often react negatively. Perhaps we think the feedback is rubbish. Or we think the person’s undermining us. Instead, adopt a neutral position toward all feedback, and evaluate them objectively. Instead of criticizing the suggestion, say thank you.
4. Making destructive comments instead of shutting up.
Sometimes, we can’t help but say something snarky to show how witty we are. This can backfire on you. Sometimes, you may forget the nasty comment you made. But it could be seared into your colleague’s mind for a long time.
5. Letting negativity be your default response.
We often start sentences with “no,” “but,” or “however.” You might actually be dismissing what they’re saying right away. Often, we say these things to gain or consolidate power. But it could stifle rather than stir discussion.
6. Telling everyone how smart you are.
While most of us are not braggarts, we often resort to subtle means of saying that we know more stuff than others. For example, when someone tells us something, we tend to say, “I already knew that,” or a variation of it. Instead, just thank them.
7. Speaking when angry.
When we’re angry, we say things without holding back. And that might cause us to blurt out words we’ll regret.
8. Withholding information.
We often keep information to ourselves as a means of gaining power. Or we simply forget to inform someone about important matters. Imagine how you’d feel if you were left out of a meeting you should attend, or if you were the last person to know about something.
9. Failing to give proper recognition. Or worse, claiming credit for what you didn’t do.
10. Blaming everyone else for your bad behavior or mistake.
You may attribute bad habits to your upbringing. Or whenever something goes wrong, you shift blame to someone else. Stop doing that.
11. An excessive need to be “me.”
There’s too much of a premium put on “being yourself.” What this thinking glosses over is that people can ably mold their behavior, even if their personalities stay the same. After all, I’m not sure if “being yourself” is a valid excuse if you’re making sarcastic remarks that hurt others’ feelings unnecessarily.
12. Refusing to say sorry.
Apologizing after you’ve made a mistake is the first step towards healing a relationship.
13. Playing favorites.
We often hate the butt kisser who sucks up to the teacher in class. But when we get into management, it’s harder to spot such behavior and stop ourselves from being manipulated. Be vigilant.
14. Not listening.
Nothing communicates “you’re not worth my time” like letting your mind drift while someone is talking to you.
15. Failing to say thanks, or saying it badly.
It doesn’t hurt to say “thank you.” Sometimes it’s the only thing you should say, as I’ve mentioned above. We often feel compelled to qualify someone’s compliment. For example, if someone says, “you look nice today,” and you say, “wait till you see what’s in my closet,” you might be perceived as boasting. Stop at “thank you.”
16. Punishing the messenger.
When someone gives us bad news, we might lash out. Or react negatively. While understandable, the messenger might think that you’re targeting him or her. Stay calm.
Ref: Tech In Asia