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You May Not Realize It, But These 6 Small Habits Can Block Your Way To Success

You May Not Realize It, But These 6 Small Habits Can Block Your Way To Success

There’s a historian by the name of Will Durant who summarized an idea of Aristotle’s as, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” With that being said, often times your habits determine your success—or form road blocks. If you can find a way to rise above habits that are hindering your success, you will find that you will be able to reach the potential you’ve always had.

These six self-destructive habits are a good place to start making some changes:

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1. Checking your phone during a conversation

Think about the last time you were having a conversation with someone and they picked up their phone to check a text message or glance over when a notification popped up. It’s a really big turn off when you feel you aren’t being listened to. And it’s likely that while distracted, you’re probably missing some important information. When you’re having a conversation, focus all your attention on the conversation. By putting your phone away, you will find that the conversations you have will be more enjoyable when you fully immerse yourself in them.

It’s an out of sight, out of mind type of thing. If you can’t see it, there’s a good possibility that you’ll forget all about it for the time being. By doing this, you’ll find that the conversations you have will be more enjoyable when you fully immerse yourself in them.

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2. Dwelling on failures from your past

When you mess up it’s hard to not be really critical of yourself. You get those feelings of hating yourself, not feeling good enough, inadequate, etc. It’s normal to feel like that from time to time, but it won’t do you any good to provoke self-hatred by continuously dwelling on those mistakes. Try to train your mind to look at your mistake(s) as an opportunity to walk away with a lesson rather than beating yourself up and swimming in negative thoughts about yourself.

Instead of dwelling, start asking yourself questions about what led you to make the decision you made. It’s beneficial to adopt the habit of asking yourself questions about your failure rather than dwelling on the failure itself.

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3. Keeping relationships with toxic people

Toxic people tend to make their mark in our lives and manage to stay there. It doesn’t matter where you work, there’s always going to be someone that just really gets under your skin. You may find that your skin cringes with even the thought of this person. By letting this person influence you to the point where it affects your performance and mood at work, you’re hindering your success. When you feel these thoughts flooding into your mind, replace them with thinking about how grateful you are for someone else in your life. It doesn’t do you any good to think about the people who don’t matter when there are plenty of people out there who deserve your attention.

4. Comparing yourself to others

Not doing this can be really hard, I know. You may find yourself doing it sometimes without even realizing it. You lose control over your happiness when you compare yourself to those around you. When you’ve accomplished something that makes you feel good and satisfied, don’t allow another person’s opinion and/or their accomplishments take away those good feelings you have. It’s nearly impossible to not let what others think of you get into your head, but over time you can learn to quickly remove that negativity and keep moving forward.

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During these times, it’s important to remind yourself that your self-worth is something that comes from the inside. Keep this in mind—you’re never as bad as someone says you are.

5. Gossiping

They’re everywhere, you can’t escape them. People who love to gossip get a ‘high’ from other people’s short-comings and failures. It may seem tempting at first to engage with others and talk about someone else’s personal/professional life, but after awhile you’ll start to realize that you feel really awful about hurting other people. Instead of doing that, pay attention and talk about the positive things going on around you. People are very interesting, and there is so much you can learn from them. Have you ever noticed that a person who compulsively gossips is rarely happy with their own life? Remember that.

6. Being distracted by notification pop-ups

It’s very hard to stay focused every time a notification pops up on your phone or email. Each time your phone or computer makes a noise, it grabs your attention and causes your productivity to drop. Getting notifications multiple times throughout your day may make you feel like you’re being productive, but that’s far from the truth. Every time you get distracted, it’s taking your attention away from the things that need to be done. A task that should take you only a few hours can easily turn into an all-day affair if you’re not mindful of how distracting it can be.

To eliminate this, turn off your pop-up notifications while you’re working. Set certain times during the day when you check your phone and email. For example, when you get to work in the morning, when you take your lunch break, and then again right before you head out to go home for the day. You’ll start to realize how much more productive you are this way.

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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