Bad habits are pretty common. Whether you bite your nails, fidget with your pen in meetings, or crack your knuckles, we all have bad habits. But in some cases, those bad habits can really hinder your team and your leadership style, especially if they affect the people around you. Your nail biting might not be a huge problem in the workplace but here are a few bad habits you should definitely avoid.
Jumping to Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is a reactive state of mind. And although sometimes it’s necessary to act reactively to solve a problem, jumping to a conclusion isn’t the proper solution. These conclusions end up being misinformed and can be detrimental to making actual progress towards fixing a problem.
How to break this habit: Take a deep breath and don’t panic. Reactions are often based on fear and anxiety. Instead of panicking, you should get all the different perspectives and then figure out where the real problem is. This way, you can fix it permanently and not just put a temporary solution in place.
Not Trusting Your Team
This falls into the same category as micromanaging. Not trusting your team means that those individuals aren’t able to work at their highest level of achievement. It makes them worry about your reactions when they make a mistake and they avoid taking risks. What many leaders forget is that taking risks and making mistakes is how people learn. If your team is playing it safe because they don’t think that you trust them, you might miss out on the next big innovation.
How to break this habit: Loosen the reins a bit. You don’t have to let go completely, but give your employees more freedom to be able to be creative. It might feel uncomfortable at first but the more you do this, the more you’ll see results. It’ll be worth it in the long run!
This might be a bit obvious. None of those myths you hear in university about working under pressure is really true. Although it can add a supplementary motivation, a tight timeline doesn’t really allow you to make good and sound choices. Whether it’s choosing who to promote to a management position or it’s writing a speech for an upcoming event, putting it off doesn’t make the task any easier. It really just makes it hard for you to make lasting progress.
How to break this habit: Keep a to-do list that includes deadlines. That way you’ll always be able to forecast what’s coming in the next few weeks and you’ll be able to prioritize your tasks. And don’t forget, tomorrow never actually comes. You only have today. Tomorrow is just an excuse to put off a task you aren’t motivated to complete.
Not Taking Care Of Yourself
Another obvious but important job. No one respects a leader who allows their own body, mind, and life to affect their position. And unless you’re taking care of yourself, there’s no way to avoid the little issues slipping through the cracks and showing up in your workplace. Whether you’re exceptionally dedicated to your job or you’re motivated to be the best in your field, it’s easy to forget that taking care of yourself needs to be a priority. Just like an athlete takes care of their body and mind so that they can hit their personal bests, you need to do the same so that every day you can work at your absolute best.
How to break this habit: Make a routine for yourself. This can include scheduling your meals (we all get so busy we forget that sometimes), putting in time at the gym, meditating, or even just time to turn off your brain for a bit and relax. Making this routine means that you’ll be able to see just how you’re using your time and also hold yourself accountable for all the little things that help keep you running at full tilt.
Breaking habits isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication to be able to turn them from being a hindrance to being positive. But taking time to develop a new skill or a good habit means that you’re not only making things easier for yourself. You’re also making things easier for those around you. Being proactive instead of reactive helps employees to know that you’re guiding them with sound judgement. Giving your subordinates space to explore and grow makes them more motivated in their positions. Being ahead of the game on tasks gives you more time to revise drafts and make changes. And taking care of yourself means that people will be excited to work with your encouraging and engaging personality.
Those are simply four bad habits that you can change. We’ll be back with the second part of this series next time when we’ll explore four more bad habits that you should remove from your daily life to make room for the change you need to do to up your game as a leader!