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6 Habits That Hurt Your Career - What You Can Do About It

6 Habits That Hurt Your Career – What You Can Do About It

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If you were just eliminated in your career or something went wrong on your team, ask yourself if your non-functional habits contributed to it.

That’s what Keri Jewett, longtime management consultant and founder of Aperio Consulting Group, advises in an article About Harvard Business Review..

Habits such as conflict aversion, impulsivity, perfectionism, or a thirst for power can slow down your success at work as well as in private life.

Whether it’s in a job interview or when trying to get a promotion: many people face difficulties Clearly identify and communicate their strengths. Working on it is important, no doubt about it. But especially if you’ve just taken a few steps back in your career or if something is spiraling out of control in the team you’re leading, it can make perfect sense to turn on your weaknesses. That’s what Keri Jewett, a longtime management consultant and founder of Aperio Consulting Group, suggests. In an article for “Harvard Business Review” before.

According to Goyette, there are some dysfunctional habits that can harm your personal and professional success. In your childhood and youth, they may have been appropriate problem-solving strategies. But if you don’t consciously keep them in check as adults, they can put you off your feet, Jewett says.

She says they are all connected to the limbic system in your brain, the emotional center. Among other things, this controls our responses to fight or flight when we feel threatened. According to Goyette, getting rid of harmful habits can be difficult. But if you know how to stimulate it, you can learn to control it. So here are six common but harmful habits — and strategies for keeping them in check.

Avoid conflict

Conflict avoidance is a term that many people know from their own lives. But according to Goyette, there’s more to a professional environment than simply avoiding tough discussions during a coffee break. Those who are accustomed to avoiding conflict use flight or intimidation to hide their insecurities. or to prevent concerns or errors from arising. In the case of executives, this can mean, for example, that conflicts within their team due to uncertainty are not resolved through clarifying discussions, but rather are ignored.

According to Goyette, dealing with this habit becomes easier when you acknowledge that it is a fear that is hurting you. For example, if you are worried about a difficult assessment interview or if you don’t dare provide critical feedback, it is best to make a plan in advance, the management consultant advises. This makes it easier for you to approach the situation directly and to clarify differences in person. In the end, this is the best way to resolve the dispute.


Impulsivity can also hurt you in your career. This includes, for example, spontaneous and unexpected emotional reactions such as anger or frustration, Jewett says. But even if you’re chasing every new idea that sounds exciting without prior testing, it’s a rush. The problem is that this habit can cost you relationships and support in the long run.

According to Goyette, if you are prone to impulsive actions or decisions, try to find time to think. When making decisions, for example, think ahead of your accumulated knowledge as well as past successes and failures. You should also consider if you missed something in a hurry. For future projects, you should also think about the possible consequences in advance: what are the points that are likely to fail during implementation? How will others see the project – inside and outside the company? What kind of experience do you want to give people?

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Shift the blame to others

According to Goyette, one of the most common harmful habits in companies is that employees and managers often try to blame others. They exaggerate the negative aspects, feel victimized and blame other departments or employees. With consequences: Aperio data shows that habit is the most common cause of poor problem solving and a lack of innovation in companies.

To kick the habit, you first need to be aware of some direct or implied allotment of blame, advises Goyette. Saying that you did everything in your power and therefore cannot be blamed for a bad outcome would be an example of this. In the next step, you should then move into problem-solving mode, learn from your mistakes, recognize existing obstacles, and think about what you can improve in the outcome with your current impact.

Insist on control

If you always wanted to be in control of everything, you definitely mean ok. After all, you want to prevent your project from failing. But the people around you are more likely to perceive you as being strict or a meticulous manager — and may even keep your distance, Jewett says. At worst, your employees lose the desire to show initiative and don’t bring in any new ideas or new feedback. Because, according to Goyette, they can’t develop their skills this way – and often quit.

If you have a penchant for micromanagement, you should, according to Goyette, talk to your employees about updates, goals, and numbers regularly, but at longer intervals. You should also offer your advice, but always strengthen your team’s scope of work. All of this initially means more communication, acceptance, and coordination. But in the end, the results were a success for the whole team.

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Surely many of you will say that you are at least a little perfect at your job. And that’s understandable, after all, we should all try to do our best, Jewett says. But perfectionism can take much worse forms—and may even cause employees or managers to miss deadlines in a row because they think their work isn’t good enough.

what should be done? Goyette advises first getting feedback and letting others confirm your expectations of your work. For example, you can ask them about the desired outcome, costs, and time frame rather than using your own requirements as a criterion for evaluation. Checkpoints can help, too, according to Goyette. For example, send half-completed work to your boss at a specific time and get feedback. And if that sounds too big for you, you can try small experiments to lower your standards – and then think about the outcome. Have your worst fears come true?

hunger for power

According to Goyette, there is a thirst for power – just like perfection – not only at work, but also in private life, for example in relationships. If you like to control certain resources, exploit others as tools to achieve your own goals, or make no concessions, these are habits that fall under power hunger.

The problem: A thirst for power often leads to bold decisions and alienates those around you. To counteract this, according to Goyette, you must create a system that holds you and others. For this you can, for example, refer to consultants, ratings or comments. You can also divide the power directly among several individuals and distribute it according to strength and experience.

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