Does It Matter To Me and Other People?
Can specific habits be keeping you from the recognition you deserve? A promotion, raise, public relations attention, or more responsibility? You may be super organized, your ideas have solved a myriad of problems, and you’ve saved/made the business many dollars. These wonderful results may not be what people are paying attention to. It may be something completely different.
Many people when they are stressed or bored do physical things to calm their system. It’s very common and therefore either not very obvious or ignored if done occasionally.
There is a line between occasional and noticeable.
Once habits are noticeable, they can detract from your professionalism by affecting how co-workers, clients, and senior decision-makers consciously or unconsciously perceive your abilities particularly in a leadership or potential leadership position. These behaviors could be distracting others from hearing and seeing you. If they feel your anxiety is affecting your position now, then the perception is you won’t be able to manage a more senior position with increased responsibilities.
I am an observer of people and their actions. I pay attention to things that many others ignore or don’t make time to see until it becomes a problem.
Part of the reason I am sensitive to these outward behaviors is I share a family tendency to play with my fingers when listening. I saw people were distracted by it, and I decided this habit was something worth changing. My former boyfriend tried to help me by covering my hands when he noticed me slipping into my nervous habit. Pretty soon, I was annoyed by him repeatedly putting his hands over mine… which of course meant that I was doing this behavior a lot. I was committed to making this change because if people were noticing my hands, they weren’t paying attention to what mattered: what I was saying and how I wanted to be seen.
Anyone can have noticeable habits, however, often a light is shown on new or younger talent who may feel they have more to prove to senior professionals and therefore may be more anxious. With more anxiety comes additional circumstances to demonstrate those behaviors.
So how do you stop yourself? First, ask yourself if your leadership potential matters to you. Because if it does, you will understand why your behavior along with your habits matters. If you want to stay committed to earning a leadership role, you’ll keep up your great accomplishments while you are trying to make this behavioral adjustment (which can be hard!).
Different habits need different solutions. Consider how to thoughtfully get rid of or decrease the actions that will work best for you. For instance, instead of playing with my fingers, I may put them in my lap, make sure my fingernails are filed short, or hold onto something else instead like my eyeglasses or pen.
You don’t know if you have any of these habits because there are no physical marks? Ask a friend to be honest with you, like my ex was with me. “Hey, do I have a habit you’ve noticed that may be detracting from my words?” Just ask. Then you can start to take measures to downplay or get rid of the behavior.
If you have young talent, you’d like to move into a management role, but are not sure if they are ready or qualified, I offer different options for a business. Individual or group coaching (if you have a collection of select people), or a 360 analysis are all options. Let’s talk. Together we can figure out the right path for your emerging leader or leaders. Contact me at Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com