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20 Qualities That Will Make You Fail At Work

20 Qualities That Will Make You Fail At Work

Dead man walking! That’s what you are, especially if you have these 20 qualities that will make you fail at work. If you’re feeling the heat and suddenly your panel made cubicle feels like a 6 by 8 jail cell. Or lunch breaks feel like a last meal delivered by a prison warden. Or, you feel that your co-workers are secretly conspiring to have you executed, you need to read on. Your work life doesn’t need to feel like you’re a prisoner on death row. Save yourself from the walk of shame by avoiding these 20 damaging qualities that will make you fail at work.

1.Being delusional.

Robert Steven Kaplan, author of What You’re Really Meant To Do, says that people need to be brutally honest about who they are. In fact, most people have a tendency towards illusory superiority. What does that mean in dummy terms? It means that people have a grave misconception that they are above average in their performance and abilities.

2. Not listening to people who are brutally honest with you.

The truth hurts. Naturally, we have a defense system that protects us from pain, both physically and mentally. So when someone criticizes you, by telling the brutal honest truth, the neurons in your brain are charge to lash out in defense. They may send signals that trigger certain behaviors such as withdrawal: denial, telling offbeat jokes, or lashing out at your boss or co-workers in retaliation. Just understand the criticism can only offend you if you feel that a part of what others are saying is true.

3. Not preparing for criticism.

First, you need to mentally prepare yourself for criticism. Just imagine the worst possible feedback from a colleague or loved one. Then, visualize how you’re going to react. Once you have the scenario rehearsed in your head, ask your boss or supervisor to evaluate your performance. Then, ask how you can improve your performance.

4. Lack of long-term vision.

“I have a theory and I really believe it. I think your worst weakness can become your single greatest strength.” Barbara Corcoran

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Barbara Corcoran, renowned real estate agent, investor and momma shark on the hit show Shark Tank, explains that her success stemmed from a series of failures. One of which, was a flower company that she had invested a great deal of money in. Her friends and colleagues eventually convinced her to quit, mainly because she was losing her shirt. Corcoran then took the information from her failed business by turning a $1000 loan into a multimillion dollar real-estate firm. Corcoran understands that your greatest failures can become your greatest successes.

5. Confusing dreams with goals.

Someday is not a day of the week. We have dreams. Sadly, we all don’t craft those dreams into goals. There is nothing more satisfying than dreaming for a better life. However, with each dream, do one little goal to move toward it. For example, if you’re writer, commit to writing a page, or even a sentence each day. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish over a short period of time.

8. Lack of perceived willingness to accept advise or mentorship.

Be honest with yourself. Admit that you have certain limitations and are in need of guidance. So maybe you told a few white lies during your interview. Or maybe you omitted some pertinent information on your resume. You can still save yourself from failing at work by asking for help.

9. Not knowing where to look for help.

Now, it’s easier than ever with Google Help Outs. You can get help from real live experts in real time. You don’t need to travel or pay exorbitant fees. You can also keep your sessions 100 percent private. If you can’t find what you need on Google Help Outs, try doing a Linked-In search. Look for consultants in your field that have a great deal of contacts, referrals, and endorsements.

10. Wasting Time

Stop burying yourself with busy work. Too many people deter their long-term goals for minuscule goals that don’t amount to anything. Do you really need to check your emails every hour? Do you really need to answer the phone when it rings? All of these things burn pertinent energy that is needed for more important things like strategy planning, creativity, and innovation.

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11. Not knowing how to prioritize tasks.

Stop allowing yourself to be pulled in 1000 different directions. Instead, create one email for your important contacts and check that. Return phone calls at certain times of the day. And be sure to spend the bulk of your time and energy doing work that is most rewarding and will lead to accomplishing long-term goals.

12. Not understanding your employer’s mission.

Sadly, many of us live in a bubble. In many situations we are hired based on specialized skills that we may have acquired through college or other forms of training. Although your goal may be to be the best consultant, teacher, developer, or executive assistant, you can possibly be. Your employer’s goal is to make money, and lots of it. I happen to believe that the more profitable a company is, the better it treats its employees. So work to contribute to the company’s objectives, goals and overall mission.

13. Not understanding your company’s bottom line.

If you want to stick around for the long haul, I suggest you learn what services or products carry the best profit margins. For example, fast food restaurants make a great deal of money selling soft drinks. So if you’re a cashier, waiter, or waitress, you need to ensure that all customers get charged for their cokes.

14. Not having proper communication skills.

“Truth is the easiest thing to sell.” Daymond John.

Daymond John is a fashion retail mogul who is one of the more laid back sharks on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. He explains that he is just a regular guy. Stricken with dyslexia and resigned to being a lifetime worker at Red Lobster in Hollis Queens, New York. Daymond John didn’t accept his fate. He sold T-shirts and hats on street corners, until he was able to create the iconic label that is known today as FUBU. Now, he is well respected by the most educated people in the industry. He signs multimillion dollar deals, despite his difficulties with reading and writing. What’s his major form of communication? Truth.

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15. Don’t be afraid to admit your weaknesses.

People mistakenly assume that having great communication skills entails being a phenomenal orator or writer. That’s not entirely true. Henry Ford was rumored to have difficulties reading and writing. He was very open about his weaknesses and therefore became one of the best communicators in the world. He communicated ideas and recruited the best and brightest in the industry to join his team. Henry Ford shows us the tremendous power that comes along with owning our weaknesses and turning them into strengths.

16. Having unrealistic assessment of timing.

“Know your business industry better than anyone else. Love what you do, or don’t do it.” Mark Cuban.

Mark Cuban can tell you that success is all about timing. Some people may call it luck; others may call it a coincidence. Whatever you decide to call it. Timing is something that we all must adhere to. It involves synchronicity between your talent and skills and a given opportunity. Good timing can make you or break you. Mark Cuban used his sense of timing to diversify all of his assets right before the housing market bubble burst. While others lost their massive fortunes, Mr. Cuban was able to increase his tenfold, all because he understood the importance of good timing.

17. Becoming comfortable or complacent.

So many people settle, simply because it is the easier thing to do. It’s easy to go on earning bad wages, or taking abuse from a terrible boss. Sadly, very few people understand that when they’re confronted with choices, they need to make the one that challenges them the most. Just understand that if you’re uncomfortable and you’re constantly doing things you don’t want to do, you’re growing. You are also becoming stronger with each courageous step.

18. Allowing arrogance and success to cloud your judgment.

In the words of Mr. Wonderful from ABC’s Shark Tank, “we live in a binary universe and if you’re not making money, you’re losing it.” Kevin O’ Leary doesn’t take too many chances. Instead, he takes tried and true approaches and uses business models that are guaranteed to increase his wealth. He doesn’t have the “I can do anything attitude,” despite his snide remarks and snarky comments on the show. He structures virtually all of his deals the same, because he understands what works, and what doesn’t.

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19. Lack of integrity.

No one screams lack of integrity louder than Jordan Belfort. Yes, the Blockbuster movie The Wolf of Wall Street was based on his life. Sadly, Jordan Belfort was successful only on the surface. Beneath it all, he was teeming with guilt that he quelled with Quaaludes and cocaine. So there are a great deal of lessons that need to be learned from Mr. Belfort.  Don’t have sex in public bathrooms, do drugs or consume alcohol while working. Most importantly, don’t indulge in lewd or offensive behavior while representing your company. Just understand that Jordan Belfort made millions cheating average people out of their hard-earned money. In the end, he lost everything, his house, his cars, even his family. So what’s the moral of this story? What you take from other people will eventually be taken from you. Be wise and don’t make deals that you won’t accept yourself.

20. Not keeping up with trends and modern technology.

Capitalizing on trends is how a lot of people make their money. No one understands this concept better than Robert Herjavec. Herjavec built several IT companies and sold them to Fortune 500 companies such as At&T and Nokia. Now is known as one of the best business leaders in the world. And is a reoccurring cast member on the show Shark Tank. The secret seems to be to know what’s hot and trending, then to climb on board and ride the wave all the way to the top. Now, it’s easier than ever to identify trends with blog directory sites such as Technorati. You can also find out what’s trending on bookmarking sites such as Digg and Reddit. Don’t forget tried and true approaches of finding hot-topics by searching Twitter using popular hashtags. If all else fails, you can always search on the Trending Topics on Google Plus.

Learn from the cast of Shark Tank on how to avoid the 20 qualities that will make you fail at work.

Featured photo credit: http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/sharktank/images/gallery/sharktank_s2_gallery_3.jpg via sonypictures.com

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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