Let’s look at some of the habit’s worth breaking Goldsmith covers in his book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
Habit A: Winning too much
There’s a fine line between being competitive and over-competitive, between winning when it counts and when no one’s counting – and successful people cross that line with alarming frequency.
Habit B: Adding too much value
I come to you with an idea that you think is very good. Rather than just pat me on the back and say, ‘Great idea!’ your inclination (because you must add value) is to say, ‘Good idea, but it’d be better if you tried it this way.’ The problem is, you may have improved the content of my idea by 5 percent, but you’ve reduced my commitment to executing it by 50 percent, because you’ve taken away my ownership of the idea. My idea is now your idea—and I walk out of your office less enthused about it than when I walked in.
Habit C: Starting with ‘No,’ ‘But,’ or ‘However’
When you start a sentence with ‘no,’ ‘but,’ ‘however,’ or any variation thereof, no matter how friendly your tone, the message to the other person is You are wrong. It’s blunt and nothing productive can happen after that.
Habit D: Telling the world how smart we are
This is a variation on our need to win. We need to win people’s admiration. We need to let them know that we are at least their intellectual equal if not their superior. The problem here is not that we’re merely boasting about how much we know. We’re insulting the other person.
Habit E: Failing to give proper recognition
By withholding your recognition of another person’s contribution to a team’s success, you are not only treating people unfairly, but you are depriving people of the emotional payoff that comes with success. They feel forgotten, ignored, pushed to the side. And they resent you for it.
Habit F: Claiming credit that we don’t deserve
When someone you work with steals the credit for a success that you created, they’re committing the most rage-inducing interpersonal ‘crime’ in the workplace and it creates a bitterness that’s hard to forget. You can forgive someone for not recognizing your stellar performance. You CAN’T forgive that person for recognizing it yet brazenly claiming it as his or her own. The best way to stop being a credit hog is to do the opposite.
Habit G: Not listening
When you fail at listening, you’re sending out a host of negative messages. You’re saying: I don’t care about you. I don’t understand you. You’re wrong. You’re stupid. You’re wasting my time.
Habit H: Passing the buck
When we pass the buck, everyone notices—and no one is impressed. Passing the buck is the dark flip side of claiming credit that others deserve. Instead of depriving others of their rightful glory for a success, we wrongfully saddle them with the shame of our failure. A great way to destroy a relationship!
Habit I: Goal Obsession
As a result, in our pursuit of our goals we forget our manners. We’re nice to people if they can help us hit our goal. We push them out of the way if they’re not useful to us. Without meaning to, we can become self-absorbed schemers and losing friends and supporters along the way.
Which ones do you need to stop doing?