Patterns of Ineffectiveness
Posted on July 21, 2008
Filed Under Branding You
We all have them. . . Patterns of behavior that impair our ability to accomplish what we say we most want. Much has been written about the many outside forces that can stand in our way of getting ahead in life. Certainly, there are the old stalwarts: economic trends, not having the right connections, the “glass ceiling,” ageism and a long list of other “isms.”
But, what about those forces that are closer to home? Self-sabotaging behavior patterns we tend to overlook?
Many of us engage in regular practices that are simply time wasters. If your workdays often leave you feeling unfulfilled, it could mean it’s time to reassess your workflow system. Is the length of your “to do” list realistic or overwhelming? Do you over-promise in ways that cause you to often fall short? How organized are you? Have you streamlined your paper flow or do you often waste time searching for lost items? Are you a “Lone Ranger” or have you enlisted a support team?
I’ve met and coached many successful business people that confess to being aware that they have some of these common patterns of ineffectiveness. They also acknowledge that they’d be a third to twice as effective if they’d commit to altering them, and yet they don’t. Why?
It’s not easy for most people to hear but our behaviors tie into our core beliefs about trust and self-worth. The micro-manager can’t bring him or herself to delegate because of a lack of trust that the job will get done without their strict oversight. This can be a legitimate concern if you’re launching a new initiative, but it can be a nonsensical one when you’re two years into responsibilities that have become routine.
It takes a high level of self-esteem to build a team that may in many ways be more experienced, or smarter, than yourself. However, in truth, it is the only way to really grow. Unless you’re in start-up mode, you should be able to take vacations with confidence.
Have a sit-down with your team and ask for honest feedback about what works and doesn’t work about your management style. Commit to logging all of your workday activities for a week in fifteen-minute increments. Notice patterns that surface that may not be serving you. Do you allow constant interruptions? Or do you set aside focus time – just for yourself? Once you identify the practices that don’t work it’s time to establish and commit to new ones that do work. You’ll discover that the internal forces you can alter have much more of an impact that the external forces you can’t.