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Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

Stay Alert! These 5 People May Destroy Your Business

As humans, we are all liable to experience emotional peaks and troughs throughout our lives. This is an inescapable consequence of life–our emotional state is heavily influenced by those around us. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Proceedings of the Royal Society, every positive person that you include in your life increases your chances of being happy by 11%. In contrast, it only takes one sad friend or acquaintance to upset this balance and make you unhappy, so your choice of friends and confidants is critically important.

This principle can also be applied to your business, where the people that you employ and partner with have a huge impact on future success or failure. With this in mind, you need to beware of the following five personality types and their potential to destroy your business:

1. The Flat-track Bully

As a general rule, bullies are loud, aggressive and outwardly confident individuals who are have an ability to initially stand out from the crowd and earn recognition from their superiors. This is why they are such a danger to your business: they have a tendency to create a positive impression on employers while distressing their colleagues and having a negative impact on productivity. As these individuals progress at the expense of others and gain greater authority, your business will begin to deteriorate beneath your very nose.

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The biggest issue with bullies is that they are often unable to do their job particularly well, especially those who advance into management roles. Once afforded authority, bullies are likely to wield this in a discriminating manner and target weaker or more skilled colleagues in a bid to undermine their confidence. This will cause your business to lose top talent and experience reduced productivity levels, while it will also fall prey to an increase in stress-related illness in the workplace. To avoid this personality type, you must understand their behavior in detail while also ensuring that your employees have a clear definition of what constitutes bullying and how to report it.

2. The Resentful Former Colleague

Occasionally, you may be required to employ individuals that you do not like. While this may sound strange, there are times where you must sacrifice personal feelings in order to optimize top talent and drive your business forward. This is most likely to occur as your launch your start-up venture, since building a successful venture requires you to maximize every possible resource at your disposal. So if you have a former colleague with considerable skill in their field and the ability to help your business grow, you may need to approach them regardless of your personal relationship.

This is a balancing act, however, as a deep dislike for another human being can create mistrust and considerable tension over time. The effects of this can be diverse and extremely impactful, whether attempting to manage a difficult relationship distracts you from achieving your business goals, or the employee in question begins to resent your superior status and develops a sense of indifference to the future of the firm. Try to consider this balance before taking such an individual on, weighing the potential cost to the business against the value that the individual can bring. It may well be that you are simply too alike, in which case the issues can be resolved through learning and communication.

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3. The Ambitious Self-server

There are a number of reasons why stable businesses fail and become insolvent, with one of the most common being the poor retention of talented employees. It is with this in mind that you must beware of ambitious self-servers, as these characters are similar to bullies in that they will often strive to get ahead at the expense of others rather than through their own merit. While bullies use their aggression to force mistakes from their colleagues and report these to management, an ambitious self-server is far more likely to influence senior colleagues directly through charm and persuasion.

Given that this personality type are only interested in their own advancement as opposed to the progression of the business, this often leads to poor and misplaced decision making on your behalf. This can have a huge impact on the retention of talented employees, as some may be unfairly let go while others simply choose to leave the company and work for an employer that respects ability and application rather than charm. To avoid this, you need to take ownership of each individual business decision and make choices based on fixed criteria.

4. The Narcissist

Teamwork makes the dream work, right? After all, businesses thrive on the collaboration between diverse and skilled teams which combine multiple strengths in the pursuit of a single, professional goal. While most personality types can thrive when given a role in a team of people, one that struggles in this regard is the narcissist. These individuals are always more consumed with themselves than with their team-mates or the business as a whole, meaning that they often fail to take direct action when working with others.

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While narcissists will not necessarily employ underhand tactics to further themselves, they are almost always arrogant and lack empathy for the people around them. This makes it extremely unlikely that they would work late to cover an absence or take on additional work to help complete a project, unless, of course, this would result in some form of individual recognition or individual reward. If you do discover a narcissist within your ranks, strive to utilize their self-serving motivation by giving them individual roles in which they can shape their own destiny (such as a commission-based sales job). This will turn a threat into an asset and help to maximize the talent at your disposal.

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    5. The Negative Energy Sapper

    Let’s face facts: there are some people in life who possess a decidedly negative energy. Whether this is part of their innate personality or the result of experience, such negativity can become consuming when it is projected onto your decisions and business management. This is debilitating for any business, as it encourages decisions that are made out of fear and conservatism rather than sound commercial logic and the fundamental balance between risk and reward. Just as aggression and recklessness in business can lead to losses, so too negativity can cause firms to stagnate slowly over time.

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    The impact of negativity is also felt more substantially throughout the whole of the business, since it begins to alter the outlook of individual employees and creates incredibly low morale. This can ultimately lead to the loss of core human assets and talented employees, while also driving down productivity and making it difficult to effectively engage customers. While negative individuals are often unaware of their impact and are not necessarily at fault for the way in which they think, you should avoid hiring those with excessive amounts of negative energy if you wish to develop and expand your venture.

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

    Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

    Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

    I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

    How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

    Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

    So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

    1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

    Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

    For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

    Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

    “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

    2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

    These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

    This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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    But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

    For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

    There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

    3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

    It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

    Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

    4. Use Your Phone Wisely

    Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

    If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

    5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

    If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

    In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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    One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

    6. Use a “To Don’t” List

    We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

    But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

    Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

    7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

    When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

    Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

    “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

    And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

    8. Be Concise

    Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

    One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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    Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

    • Making new contacts
    • Talking about yourself at a job interview
    • Meeting people at conferences or parties
    • Phone calls to new clients

    9. Ask the Right Questions

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

    How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

    When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

    Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

    Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

    10. Learn as Much as You Can

    You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

    Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

    11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

    No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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    If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

    What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

    Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

    12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

    As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

    But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

    The Bottom Line

    The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

    Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

    More About Working Smart

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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