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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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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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