Apologies for the somewhat negative headline but often saying what NOT to do is useful/helpful. In this post I’ll take you through what I see in my coaching work as the biggest blockers to effectiveness, they are simple but common. At the end of the post I tell you a little about my next webinar which will go a long way to helping you rid yourself of these habits.
It may be useful sometimes to hold onto grudges, past happenings or previous emotional dramas in order to process, unpack and resolve them but there comes a time (usually sooner rather than later) to move on and let it go. Holding onto “stuff” takes up headspace, energy and has real impacts on your physical/psychological health. So we all need to learn how to “get over it!”. Hint: it takes a lifetime to master this one, but you need to start practicing as soon as possible.
This habit is the result of the gap (pause for thought) between stimulus and response being absent. Something happens (stimulus) and before you even are aware you have said and/or done something (habitual response) and find yourself in a situation that is not useful for you or those around you. It is the difference between reacting and responding; choosing our response is usually better than being reactionary. So how do you catch yourself before your mouth says something you may regret? Self-awareness is the key; seeing yourself and your habits then building your ability to have more “space” between stimulus and response. Check out this video on Self-awareness practices, which help with this.
3. Never (ever) wrong
This is excessive ego or stubbornness and in some people it’s pathological. I have heard stories of managers being so stubborn in the face of overwhelming evidence re them being wrong that their staff have found it laughable. In such situations the resulting farce of a discussion was a complete waste of everyone’s time. I have heard that elite commando soldiers are a bit like this too; if they admit they have faults or are inferior in any way then this somehow weakens them; which is unacceptable. The sad thing is every time a manager/leader acts like this it severely reduces the respect they garner from their team (plus they look ridiculous). So tame your ego, watch for it arising and taking over your body/mind; have a routine to intervene and work on ways to admit its your fault.
4. Treat the world as a machine
I fully get that everyone sees the world through their particular lens and that we all have differing personality types BUT don’t treat people like they are things (resources) or tools to be utilised. Have respect for the psycho-emotional components of people. Taking into consideration the “softer” side of people in your decisions may be harder but yields significantly better results (and is polite and nice too). Work on building whole-of-person relations, more on this here.
5. She’ll be right (lack of intent)
This is an Australian vernacular term of phrase, meaning everything will work itself out. Well guess what… it won’t, take responsibility to act and make things happen, do your part then let the chips fall, but don’t take the apathetic approach and expect everything to work out. The successful clients I coach are pro-active people who have strong intent backed by action. So have a goal yes, then let it go and get on with what YOU need to do.
6. Busyness (all action, no plan)
As I said in the previous point, action is great BUT doing without reflection and planning means you risk replacing meaningfulness and effectiveness with busyness. Plan-act-review is a simple model to help you learn and grow on the job. More on this in my upcoming webinar.
7. Dreaming (all plan, no action)
This is not as common but it happens, too much thinking and not enough doing means you do not get feedback on your actions upon which you can learn and plan next steps. Stuck in a situation or role you do not like? Well overthinking it is pointless, at some stage you need to DO something. Often with clients I help them set up experiments to test and try and put themselves at their learning edge (at the limit of their capability and confidence). Taking some small safe action is often the best remedy for times when you feel your mind has painted you into a corner where you are paralysed by your own analysis.
Want to learn more about how to break these habits?
Soon I’ll be running a free webinar called: “How to keep you career on track and avoid work becoming a grind”
In this webinar I will go into more detail on how to tackle these 7 unhelpful habits and pro-actively manage your career. Here are some of the outcomes I’m aiming for:
– What career mistakes are most common (even for high achievers)
– How you can systematically create processes to prevent you from making these mistakes
– How to stay true to yourself as you progress through your career
– Money versus meaning; how to balance your needs
Register for this free event here.