An Introvert’s Guide to Networking

ForbesWoman 11/28/2011 @ 11:33AM

Throughout college, I was the “shy girl.” I often wondered why it was hard for me to open up to strangers and attend social events after a long day at school. But I was so used to being labeled as “shy” that I never thought of changing it—it was just my identity.

Finally, at my first job, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test and a light bulb went off: I’m an introvert. I realized that there are many benefits of having my personality type—we introverts tend to be reflective and have close relationships, to name a couple—and I became proud of who I was.

But being an introvert makes some things difficult. It’s hard to be open and let strangers into your life. Small talk doesn’t come easy, and it’s hard work to establish rapport with new people. And that means things like attending networking events and meeting new people—crucial elements of the job search—can be pretty intimidating.

I’ve picked up a few tips and habits over the years that have helped me navigate the social side of my career. Do I get excited about being in a big room full of strangers to meet? Not so much. But it’s not so bad anymore, either. Here’s how I handle it:

1. Prepare
Before you head into your next social event, spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to learn from others. Have a few questions ready to ask new people, such as “How did you get started in your career?” or “What are you passionate about?” If being put on the spot makes you nervous, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing questions down and practicing ahead of time. Also think about what you want to share about yourself—you can’t rely on another person to carry the conversation for you!

2. Find a Conference Buddy
You don’t always have to go at it alone—having a buddy can make large events much less intimidating. So bring a colleague or friend to your next networking event or conference. If you do have to fly solo, try to reach out and make just one connection. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with during lunch breaks and someone to wave hello to and introduce to others. And you’ll probably be surprised at how much fun you’ll have!

3. Be That Person
Remember that most people in the room at any given networking event feel the same way you do: scared to death. So, instead of dwelling on how scary it is to start a conversation, think about how by doing so you’ll be helping other people feel more comfortable. Maybe that girl alone at the table doesn’t know anyone either and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person! (“Have you been to this before?” is always a great opening line.)

4. Be Present
Once you do start a conversation, it can be tough to relax if you’re continuously worried about what to say next and what the other person is thinking. So try shifting the focus to your new acquaintance, instead. Ask lots of questions and practice your listening skills!

5. Smile
You don’t always have to initiate—but if you’re hiding against the wall with your arms crossed over your chest, you’re not giving off a very approachable vibe, either. So try to relax, smile, and look as warm and casual as you can—it’ll open the door for someone to walk up to you and start the conversation.

6. Challenge Yourself
This year, I took on a networking challenge—I met with four people I knew and four people I didn’t know every month. Through these connections, I’ve already gotten an interview and many referrals—not to mention my new found confidence and a clearer sense of direction in my career. Even if you don’t go this far, think about how you can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone just a little bit. It might have unexpected—and great—results.

This article was originally published at The Daily Muse and Forbes

The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon

My Say , Contributor, Forbes Entrepreneurs, 1/26/2012

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it. Just don’t say you’re doing it.

If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon. No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.

“Jargon masks real meaning,” says Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”

To save you from yourself (and to keep your colleagues and customers from strangling you), we have assembled a cache of expressions to assiduously avoid.

We also assembled a “Jargon Madness” bracket—similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament—featuring 32 abominable expressions. Each day, for 32 days, readers will get to vote, via Twitter, on one matchup. The goal: to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon and thoroughly embarrass all who employ it and all of those other ridiculous terms, too.

Core Competency

This awful expression refers to a firm’s or a person’s fundamental strength—even though that’s not what the word “competent” means. “This bothers me because it is just a silly phrase when you think about it,” says Bruce Barry, professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business. “Do people talk about peripheral competency?  Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking.  It’s like core mediocrity.”

Buy-In

This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business: “Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team

In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

Empower

This is what someone above your pay grade does when, apparently, they would like you to do a job of some importance. It’s also called “the most condescending transitive verb ever.” Says Chatman: “It suggests that ‘You can do a little bit of this, but I’m still in charge here.  I am empowering you.’”

Open the Kimono

“Some people use this instead of ‘revealing information,’” says Barry. “It’s kind of creepy.” Just keep your kimono snugly fastened.

Bleeding Edge

Someone decided that his product or service was so cutting-edge that a new term needed to be created. It did not. Unless you are inventing a revolutionary bladed weapon, leave this one alone.

Lots of Moving Parts

Pinball machines have lots of moving parts. Many of them buzz and clank and induce migraine headaches. Do you want your business to run, or even appear to run, like a pinball machine? Then do not say it involves lots of moving parts.

Corporate Values

This expression is so phony it churns the stomach. Corporations don’t have values, the people who run them do.

Make Hay

This is jargon for being productive or successful in a short period of time. The phrase ‘to make hay’ is short for ‘make hay while the sun shines’, which can be traced to John Heyward’s The Proverbs, Epigrams and Miscellanies of John Heywood (circa 1562). A handy nugget for cocktail conversation, but that’s it.

Scalable

A scalable business or activity refers to one that requires little additional effort or cost for each additional unit of output. Example: Making software is a scalable business (building it requires lots of effort up front, while distributing a million copies over the Web is relatively painless). Venture capitalists crave scalable businesses. They crave them so much that the term now has become more annoying than the media’s obsession with celebrity diets.

Best Practice

This refers to a method or technique that delivers superior results compared with other methods and techniques. It is also perhaps the single most pompous confection the consulting industry has ever dreamed up.

Think Outside the Box

This tired turn of phrase means to approach a business problem in an unconventional fashion. Kudos to a Forbes.com reader who suggested: “Forget the box, just think.”

Solution

This word has come to mean everything from the traditional way to solve a mathematical proof to a suite of efficiency-enhancing software–and it is the epitome of lingual laziness. Says Glen Turpin, a communications consultant: “It usually refers to a collection of technologies too abstract or complex to describe in a way that anyone would care about if they were explained in plain English.”

Leverage

Meet the granddaddy of nouns converted to verbs. ‘Leverage’ is mercilessly used to describe how a situation or environment can be manipulated or controlled. Leverage should remain a noun, as in “to apply leverage,” not as a pseudo-verb, as in “we are leveraging our assets.”

Vertical

This painful expression refers to a specific area of expertise. For example, if you make project-management software for the manufacturing industry (as opposed to the retail industry), you might say, “We serve the manufacturing vertical.” In so saying, you would make everyone around you flee the conversation.

Over the Wall

If you’re not wielding a grappling hook, avoid this meaningless expression. Katie Clark, an account executive at Allison & Partners, a San Francisco public relations firm, got a request from her boss to send a document “over the wall.” Did he want her to print out the document, make it into a paper airplane and send it whooshing across the office? Finally she asked for clarification. “It apparently means to send something to the client,” she says. “Absurd!”

Robust

This otherwise harmless adjective has come to suggest a product or service with a virtually endless capacity to please. A cup of good coffee is robust. A software program is not.

Learnings

Like most educated people, Michael Travis, an executive search consultant, knows how to conjugate a verb. That’s why he cringes when his colleagues use the word “learning” as a noun. As in: “I had a critical learning from that project,” or “We documented the team’s learnings.” Whatever happened to simply saying: “I learned a lesson from that project?” Says Travis: “Aspiring managers would do well to remember that if you can’t express your idea without buzzwords, there may not be an idea there at all.”

Boil the Ocean

This means to waste time. The thinking here, we suppose, is that boiling the ocean would take a long time. It would also take a long time to fly to Jupiter, but we don’t say that. Nor should we boil oceans, even the Arctic, which is the smallest. It would be a waste of time.

Reach Out

Jargon for “let’s set up a meeting” or “let’s contact this person.” Just say that—and unless you want the Human Relations department breathing down your neck, please don’t reach out unless clearly invited.

Punt

In football, to punt means to willingly (if regretfully) kick the ball to the other team to control your team’s position on the field. In business it means to give up on an idea, or to make it less of a priority at the moment. In language as in life, punt too often and you’ll never score.

Impact

This wannabe verb came to prominence, says Bryan Garner, editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, because most people don’t understand the difference between the words “affect” and “effect.” Rather than risk mixing them up, they say, “We will impact our competitor’s sales with this new product.” A tip: “Affect” is most commonly a verb, “effect” a noun. For instance: When you affect my thinking, you may have an effect on my actions.

Giving 110%

The nice thing about effort, in terms of measuring it, is that the most you can give is everything—and everything equals 100%. You can’t give more than that, unless you can make two or more of yourself on the spot, in which case you have a very interesting talent indeed. To tell someone to give more than 100% is to also tell them that you failed second-grade math.

Take It To The Next Level

In theory this means to make something better. In practice, it means nothing, mainly because nobody knows what the next level actually looks like and thus whether or not they’ve reached it.

It Is What It Is

Thanks. Idiot.

How Are Your Relationships At Work?

Regardless of whether you sell a product or a service, how are your relationships at work? Do you spend time getting to know your clients, your employees, and your vendors? In a technology-driven, fast-paced world, taking the time to connect with the people involved in every aspect of your business will pay off in the long-term.

1. Be Genuine

People automatically take in both verbal and nonverbal body language when they interact with you. If your words are not congruent with you nonverbal body language, then people will pick up on the inconsistencies and when they do, then it makes it twice as hard for them to trust in you. This can affect your sales and the office atmosphere.
When you are being genuine, you connect with the other person by making direct eye contact, by engaging in back and forth conversation that does not get off topic, and by tending to their needs. If your mind is wandering or your feelings do not match with what you are saying, then it can also prolong figuring out if everyone’s needs were met in the interaction. When you are focused on someone and in the present moment, not thinking about the past or future, then your thoughts/feelings/actions are all on the same page. Even if the other person is scattered, your presence can help calm, re-center, and re-orient them to solving the issue at hand.

2. Smile

Both men and women respond to being smiled at in a friendly, engaging, professional manner. A smile does not mean you are flirting with the opposite sex. When you have a pleasant smile on your face you broadcast that you are at ease, approachable, and if someone wants to talk to you or ask a question, they know you are present and ready to help them out. Smiling at other people, and just because you are happy, also causes a chain reaction. Just try not smiling at someone the next time they smile at you.

3. Play

I love the Pikes Place FISH! philosophy and culture. One of my favorite tenets is: play. And, yes, I just said play at work. Why not? When you are playful with your co-workers, and with your customers it is almost impossible to be insincere or to frown. When you play at work, something beautiful occurs: you enjoy being at work. A dose of silliness does not mean losing your professionalism, but what it does mean is that your office climate is conducive to productivity. A byproduct may be increased efficiency and sales, just because people love what they do and are having fun with their jobs.

4. Acknowledge

While acknowledging and recognizing people for their work is germane to everyone, it’s especially meaningful when you publicly recognize women’s efforts. Women are not recognized enough at work, partly because they do not self-promote according to what John Gray, PhD, found and book, How to Get What You Want at Work. Women do not naturally boast or tell others about their accomplishments; partly because social conditioning tells women that it is uncomely to brag.

John Gray, PhD, talks in this book about how showing appreciation to men about their efforts and results may work more to their benefit rather than showing respect. Whereas the opposite tends to be true for women at work; they would rather be shown respect over appreciation for their accomplishments. If you’re interested, then you can also take a quick Mars Venus Coaching online workshop on just these differences between men and women.

5. Praise

I believe as a culture we tend to focus on the bottom-line and what’s not going well compared to how much time is spent praising and encouraging one another on what we are doing well. A simple, “hey, Joe, you did a great job on that presentation,” or a quick note will work wonders. Positive reinforcement will always net you positive results, because people like and want to feel good about themselves and their work. Therefore, if you spend more time praising people at work, regardless if they are co-workers or customers, then you will have more satisfied people at your place of work.

Enjoy placing value on your relationships to make them work at work!

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

4 To-Dos for the “Someday” Entrepreneur

By Adelaide Lancaster, Forbeswomen, 3/7/12

I talk with a lot of people who want to start a business “someday.” And as a result, I often think about the factors that determine which “someday” entrepreneurs will actually become business owners, and which will continue to say “I wish” for years to come.

Surprisingly, the ability to take the plunge has a lot less to do with people’s personalities, and a lot more to do with how accessible and familiar the experience of entrepreneurship is to them. Those who can picture themselves running a business often do. And those who continue to think of entrepreneurship as a big, scary thing that other people (perhaps more gregarious, sales-oriented, or risk-tolerant people) do tend to never move forward.

So, if you, too, dream of someday being your own boss, an important first step is just getting acquainted with the nature of the beast. Here are four things that will help you do just that.

1. Make New Friends
One of the best ways to learn what entrepreneurship is really like is by getting to know some entrepreneurs. Not necessarily the fancy, media darling types, but just normal, low-key people who work for themselves. To start, connect with entrepreneurs who match your own demographic—it helps you to start thinking “hey, if they can do it, so can I!” But be sure to branch out from there, and also to meet people in a wide variety of industries. There are lots of styles of entrepreneurship, so the more diversity you can experience, the better!

If you don’t know any entrepreneurs, just start asking people to make some introductions. Or, join groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and start paying attention to the discussions that are happening. Ask someone you find interesting to have coffee and take it from there. Pick their brain about useful resources, groups, or meetings, and see if they can introduce you to even more entrepreneurs.

2. Pick Some New Role Models
In addition to making some new pals, it’s important to identify role models who are a little more established in the business world. You might not be able to take them to coffee, but you can learn a lot by observing them and their companies from afar.
Select three brands or companies that you like and admire. Find as many ways to follow their leaders as possible—be it their blogs, articles, or Facebook profiles. Read their books if they have them. Read their press and interviews that they’ve done. Think about how their personalities and leadership styles have shaped the brands and the companies they run. Stay abreast of their company news, and take note of what they share about their own experience.

3. Fall in Love with Small Business as a Customer
There’s a certain romance to small business. As a customer, there’s always something more special about the experience. Sometimes it’s witnessing changes over the years, other times it’s the connection to the owner, others it’s the attention to detail that’s given to the product or service.

And there’s a lot to learn from that! So, in addition to making friends with entrepreneurs themselves, it’s important to also make relationships with some actual businesses. Think about the small businesses that you currently patronize, or the new start-ups whose products you love. What do you know about their owners or story? What are their goals and where are they going? What do they do that’s memorable, distinct, or unique? What do they do particularly well? Thinking about your own experiences as a customer will give you tons of insight into running your own show.

4. Demystify “Business” Speak
Most would-be entrepreneurs get scared off by the “business” side of things. They overestimate the skills and knowledge that are needed to run a business and assume that there are huge mountains to be climbed and learning curves to overcome before even getting started.

But it’s important to confront the monster under the bed—it’s not as hard as you might think, and you certainly don’t have to have an MBA to do it. Pick a small business magazine like Inc. or Fast Company and invest $15 to get a subscription. Peruse it each month, but feel free to read only what’s interesting to you. You’ll soon see how un-mysterious business can be. From behind-the-scenes business profiles to questions about how to handle particular challenges, you’ll begin to learn a lot about the experience of entrepreneurship.

As you start talking to people, expanding your reading list, and thinking more and more about the what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, you’ll soon see that it’s not as big and scary as you might think. And that “someday” will inch a little bit closer to today.

Work Place Commincation Skills

By Arjun Kulkarni

It is well-known that before you come to work, you have to leave your informal self back home. In the office, you’re an employee, someone who’s supposed to go about his work in the most professional manner. There is a way to talk to your superiors, to your peers and your subordinates. This mode of communication is known as workplace communication and is typically formal and to the point. So how does one get the required workplace communication skills and what is the importance of communication skills in the workplace?

Communication Skills in the Workplace

What are the good workplace communications skills?
Courteousness: A person should always be courteous while speaking to anyone in the workplace, whether senior or junior. One should not speak disparagingly with juniors, while speaking in a laudatory way with seniors. Courteousness should be maintained in the workplace irrespective of rank.
Precision: You’re not supposed to sit and chat in the workplace. Workplace communication facilitates necessity and should be completed as quickly as possible. Workplace communication mostly consists of delegating tasks and reporting results. So keep it short.
Language: One should never use any slang terms while at work. Business communication should be crisp and clear so that everyone understands what you’re saying. Slang terms bring in the eventuality of misunderstanding and also look unprofessional. So one should avoid using slang in office.
Low Speaking Volume: One comes across so many loud-talkers. Perhaps they are naturally so or do so deliberately to drive some point across. But speaking loudly is disturbing to other people around you hence, a low speaking volume should be maintained.
Clarity: It is also essential to ensure that the person you are speaking with has completely understood what you have to say. Hence, one should speak very slowly and clearly. If you have a strong ethnic accent, you should make sure that you talk slowly so that the other person gets what you have to say. It is always good to ask, “have you understood?” just in case someone doesn’t get what you have to say.
Listen to Others: Most people think of effective communication as a one-way thing. But it is very important to also be a good listener and not just a good talker. Others too often have something to say or to contribute to a discussion hence, listening too, is one of the effective communication skills at work.
Posture and Body Language: They say actions speak louder than words and the same can be considered to be true at the workplace. The body has a language of its own too, and at the workplace, the body ought to be courteous. There are simple things to keep in mind, whether it is wishing everyone ‘good morning’ at work, or having a courteous smile on your face, being well-dressed in office or sitting erect when someone is talking to you. All these things too are included in the superset of workplace communication skills.
Written Communication

Modern methods allow the least use of the written mode of communication (less than before). Today, we use emails, service forms, report sheets and the occasional sticky note. Your skills should extend to this area as well. Do not drone on about things in your emails. In fact, an email is the perfect excuse to make it short, simple, quick and effective. While filling reports on any projects or for employee appraisals, keep the language clean and simple. It reflects on as you as someone who is hard working and prompt.

Importance of Communication Skills in the Workplace

If one understands the significance or importance of something, then I feel that they do that thing better. So instead of just dishing out all the important workplace communication skills, I feel it is equally important for people to understand, what is the big deal about it! It is important to be formal and cordial in the workplace for several reasons. Firstly, you are viewed by everyone in the office as someone who has a positive influence in the workplace. Such people are always desired by companies. Secondly, you learn to get your point across effectively and ensure that the work is done the way it should be. And thirdly, (I’m being a bit informal here) it makes you look like a team player and makes you more loved by the company overall!

So this was all about the workplace communication skills and their importance. Now you know how to communicate effectively in the workplace and why. So get on with the job!

Moving on Up: How to Ask for a Promotion

ForbesWoman 10/04/2011

Asking for a promotion ranks high on the list of life’s most anxiety-inducing activities. Putting yourself out there to higher-ups can be intimidating, and competition can be fierce, especially in the current economic climate. And, of course, what if they say no?
But—it’s also one of the most important things you can do for your career. If you want to move forward in your company or field, promotions are part of the game, and they won’t just be handed to you—you have to work (and ask!) for them.
Ready to take that next step? Here’s what to know before the big conversation.

1. Do Your Homework
The most important part of asking for a promotion is preparing ahead of time. When you make the ask, you’ll need to prove (with specifics) that you’re ready for the next step.
First, you’ll want to emphasize to your manager what you’ve brought to the table so far—it’s a good measure of both your contributions and your future potential. Make a list of all of your accomplishments to use as your talking points. Have you taken on a side project that grew into a new revenue stream? Doubled your sales goals in less than six months? Doing a great job in your position isn’t enough to make your case—you’ll need to show that you’ve gone above and beyond.
Next, identify the specific position you want, and why you’re ready to take it on. If you’re asking to become assistant manager, know what that entails and then demonstrate that you’ll be able to fulfill the position. Want to be a team leader? Give examples of how you’ve successfully managed smaller projects or groups of people, like coordinating your department’s internship program. Find concrete examples that prove that you’re the right person for the job.

2. Plan the Timing
There’s no “perfect” time to ask for a promotion, but sometimes are definitely better than others. The most straightforward time to ask is your annual (or semi-annual) review—it’s a built-in opportunity for both you and your manager to discuss how you’ve been doing and where your career is headed. (Just be sure that you’re not asking for a promotion solely because you’re up for review—you still need to demonstrate that you deserve the bump.)
Also consider your position in the company and what’s going on within your department or team. Are people around you leaving or moving up the ranks? Is your department merging with another, or repositioning itself within the company? When there’s a lot of overall change going on, it presents a great opportunity to step up and ask your boss where she sees you fitting in as the organization moves forward.
Finally, don’t be scared off by the dismal economy. Even in these tough times, smart employers understand that their employees are one of their most valuable assets, and they’ll want to retain (and reward) the best of them. You might get a smaller salary bump than people did in years past, but a promotion isn’t just about the money: It’s also about increased responsibilities, and hopefully you’ll be fiscally rewarded when the economy starts to turn around, even if you aren’t now.

3. Ask for the Meeting
If you decide to ask for a promotion when it’s not annual review time, plan ahead before you approach your manager. Send an email requesting a meeting, and make it clear that you’d like to discuss your performance and potential. You don’t want to show up to a meeting and catch your manager off guard—by giving her advance notice, she’ll have time to reflect on your performance and what the company will be able to offer you, position- and raise-wise.

4. Know Your Numbers
One of the biggest career mistakes women make is not negotiating their salary. According to a 2008 Carnegie Mellon study, men are four times more likely to negotiate a first salary than women, and 2.5 times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiation. That’s not a good thing!
You shouldn’t discuss numbers until you’ve actually been offered a promotion, but you should be prepared to have the conversation if it arises. So, do your research and know what you’re worth, both within the company and outside of it. Check out Pay Scale and Salary.com, and see if you can find out the norms for your industry and company, too.
Then, when negotiation talks begin, don’t sell yourself short—it doesn’t hurt to ask for too much. That’s the nature of the negotiating game: they can always offer you less than what you ask for, but they’ll never offer you more.

5. Follow Up
If you get the promotion, great! Go out and celebrate—you deserve it! But if not, know that it’s not the end of the world, and more importantly, don’t just close the conversation just yet.
Make sure you leave the meeting with an idea of what will happen down the road. If now is not a good time for the department to be offering promotions, ask your boss when you can revisit the conversation. If he or she said no based on your current qualifications, get feedback on steps you can take to gain experience and be considered for a promotion in the future.

Above all, know that if you’re in the right position, your manager will be glad that you’re looking to advance. Nobody ever gets fired for asking for a promotion (trust me!). But if you don’t ask, you’re only hurting yourself.

5 Most Common Ways People Ruin Their Work Careers

How to prevent failure at work.

Even the most successful executives and leaders can suddenly “go off the track” and ruin their careers. Research on executive derailment has clearly identified the factors that cause previously successful executives and professionals to fail. Watch out for these in your own work career.

1. Poor Interpersonal Style. Although technical competence and successes may initially pay off, as one moves up in an organization or profession, interpersonal skills become more important. In our study of firefighters, technical competence was the key to getting promoted to captain, but lack of social skills prevented captains from going higher in the chain of command.

Having an abrasive or arrogant style, being insensitive to those around you, or coming off cold and aloof can lead to derailment of managers and supervisors.

2. Over-Controlling and Inability to Delegate. In today’s team-centered work world, it is critical to be able to work successfully with others to get the job done. Managers who try to do it all themselves, who micromanage, or who are unable to build a team, are likely doomed to failure.

3. Inability to Adapt. Change is the only constant in organizations. Workers who fail to adapt will become obsolete and fail. In one engineering department, the manager was unable to master, or even understand, the new design technology. Due to his own insecurity, he refused to let the new technology be used in his department. The result: they fell further and further behind on projects and produced inferior results.

4. Lack of Transparency. Dealing openly and honestly with those you work with is the key to success. Even if you are justified and fair in the decisions that you make, you need to let people know why and how important decisions (such as promotions) are made.

It goes without saying that unethical behavior is a key derailer for anyone’s work career, so the best way to avoid temptation is to be transparent in the decisions you make and strive to be virtuous in your behavior.

5. Inability to Think Strategically. All too often, we get bogged down in the day-to-day work that is in front of us, and focus too much on short-term goals. However, career success requires constantly looking at the big picture, and thinking strategically about where we are headed. Strategic thinking helps us anticipate problems, recognize new opportunities, and build a track record of accomplishments.

__________________________________________________________________

by Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D. in Cutting-Edge Leadership