Bad Leadership Habits: 5 Things Leaders Could (and Should) Stop Doing

I’ve been writing about bad leadership habits, and making lists of things that would be easy to stop doing. (See my previous post here.) What kinds of things could you stop doing, that would make you more effective as a person and as a business leader? Quite often bad leadership can be immediately improved by simply stopping bad communication habits.

Almost everyone keeps a “to-do” list. What’s needed is a “to-stop” list of bad habits, when it comes to communicating and interacting with our peers, colleagues, direct reports and even family members.

The following list of bad habits is from Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. These bad habits can easily be turned into good ones. Which habits are you engaging in, and which would be hardest for you to stop?

These challenges are in interpersonal behavior — they’re the egregious annoyances that make your workplace substantially more noxious than necessary.

  1. Winning too much. The need to win at all costs and in all situations — when it matters and even when it doesn’t, when it’s totally beside the point.
  2. Adding too much value. The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgment. The need to rate others and impose our standards on others.
  4. Making destructive comments. The needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty, but which contribute to negative energy.
  5. Starting with “no,” “but” or “however.” The overuse of these negative qualifiers, which secretly convey to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”

What about you? Do you sometimes slip into these bad communications habits? It’s easy enough to do… and easy to stop with a little practice.

“Success often lies not in what you do, but what you stop.” ~ Former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King

You get better at stopping these habits by working with an executive coach. Want to know more? Call me: 704-827-4474, or leave your information here on my contact page.

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