I recently saw Marshall Goldsmith (coaching guru) present and was struck by a number of things that he said. To the extent that I bought his book, "What Got You Here, Won't Get You There"
In fact if you click on the link for the book you will find a wonderful example of how web 2.0 keeps you on your toes. I was trying to insert a link with a summary of Marshall's book and I find a post that says pretty much everything I was thinking. So rather than list his idea that as you progress as a manager, the important thing is to think about what to stop doing rather than start doing you can just click on it to see the list.
Another of his key concepts is that if you want to change your behaviour you have to advertise what you are trying to change. Otherwise people will not notice. So for the benefit of people who work with me who haven't posted reponses yet, here is your chance. From his list of 20 are the things that I think I am bad at:
1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations - when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point. - I'm very bad at this. Always competing even when it doesn't matter
2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion - I am often guilty of destroying people's enthusiasm by telling them, in detail, the small and picky points they have missed in their idea (see below #6)
3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them - not immune to this either
4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty - I still can't seem to detach myself from the notion that sarcasm is a display of intelligence
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are - This is probably my biggest failing
8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked. - I do this on occasions but not all the time
14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly - I didn't think that I did this but I know a number of my staff think I do, so I accept that I need to work on this
16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues - On the whole I think I'm OK at this but always need to improve as some people still don't feel listened to...
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are - I'm sure I'm guilty of this as well
These are the things that I am committing to try and improve. I will try and map my progress through this blog.
Out of 20 bad habits, I'm admitting to 10. This is pretty poor since they're the ones I prepared to admit to. This is an open invitation, without fear of criticism or reprisal, to anyone who works for me, or knows me for that matter, to add to the list. Tell me what I need to get better at.
Go on. Take a swing at the boss!