As important as technical skills are, they aren’t enough for total career success. Interpersonal skills are most essential to any successful career. We work with systems but people make up those systems. We work in projects but people make the project successful.
How can you navigate a career community successfully? Watch out for these habits, change or adjust what applies to you and increase your chances of success.
1. Taking all the credit
Working as part of a team means everyone contributes their own quota to the success of a task, goal or project. Do not take credit for anything you do. Even when you work alone on a project, it will be obvious what your contributions are but even at that, you still would have needed some input or help from someone other than yourself. Avoid taking credit that you don’t deserve and don’t over-estimate your participation to the achievement of a goal.
2. Inability to Listen
Communication as an essential skill cannot be over emphasised. Unfortunately listening is a challenge for most people. Learn to listen attentively and go a step further to ask questions and clarify statements or comments so that you avoid making mistakes in the long run. Do not assume that you heard one thing and then do the other. That is a career stumbling block right there. Try and reiterate what you heard or needs to be said and done enough to make sure you are confident about what you have interpreted.
3. Talking down on others
It is totally wrong to speak about a colleague in a derogatory manner. It makes you project yourself negatively and gives off the impression that you lack confidence and posses low self-esteem. Avoid the urge to speak of or join in, a conversation to destroy a colleague’s work reputation. It’s an epic no for your career success.
4. Expressing anger at work
To be in a position of leadership is not a walk in the park. Expression of emotions, especially anger, is a skill that needs mastery. No one is entitled to use anger to intimidate or communicate at work. It is not a management or leadership tool. To ensure you enjoy a successful career, do not wear your emotions on your sleeves and express emotions when you need to and appropriately.
5. Inability to take responsibility for actions
Avoid the need to point fingers and blame everything and everyone for the mistake or gap. It is going to stall your career if you are unable to own up to it. When you lead a team, you, as the lead, are responsible for the success or failure. Do not pass on the buck but stand tall, admit the wrong, learn, adjust and move on. You will grow from it.
6. Hoarding Information
Withholding information from your colleagues so that you can be in competition or at an advantage over them is not a criteria for a successful career. It shows you are not a team player neither are you a candidate for getting into higher leadership positions. Information is to be shared, not kept as a secret weapon.
7. Negative Personality
Another career stumbling block is one who has a negative personality. Everything about you is negative and distasteful. Nothing good comes from your conversations, you always encourage negativity and spread it to anyone around you. Your contributions are always negative, your output negative, your impression or comments about colleagues are also negative. The outcome is disastrous to your career success.
8. Not reliable, dependable or trustworthy
To succeed in your career, you need to be trustworthy. Your boss, team members and other colleagues can depend on you to carry out agreed tasks and keep your word. You need to be a reliable member of the team. Those are the ones that get recognised and get to higher heights in their careers.
9. Not willing or able to express gratitude
Simply saying ‘thank you’ is an indication that you are an appreciative person that recognises the contribution or participation of a thing or person. An inability to express appreciation can stall your career success.
10. Inability to give recognition when appropriate
To lead in your career, you need to possess the ability to reward, praise, appreciate, encourage and motivate those around you. Give out appropriate recognition and reward to those who deserve it and show that you genuinely are grateful for them.
Picture source: Hidden Figures