While most are straightforward, tackling one challenge after another, others do it differently and their actions leave marks that affect our success.
Most of us can’t choose our co-workers, team members, or business associates. Nonetheless, we can avoid being blindsided by those who, often unintentionally, would throw us off course. Here is what to look for:
Those who act too quickly. In school, they raced to get a seat in the front row and their hands went always up first when the teacher asked a question, even though they didn’t know the answer. Some never stop raising their hand first. They’re enthusiastic, but they can cause trouble by not take time to think things through.
Those who lack flexibility. We admire those who stand by their beliefs and don’t give in even when it could help to bend a little. Yet, rigidity can create roadblocks that thwart discussion and lead to hostility.
Those who rush to get it done. They plough right in, ignoring even the most obvious red flags. They never ask questions, refuse help, and never think through tasks before moving forward. They leave a trail of trouble behind them for others to clean up.
Those who never quite finish. Whatever the task, they drag it out (usually accompanied by questionable excuses). Then, when the deadline passes, they want more time to “check one more thing,” while co-workers are left waiting.
Those who want to do too much. Smart and capable, they’re up for any challenge that’s handed to them. You can count on them to do a good job and do it quickly. Without knowing it, they can also create dissention among team members who resent having a “star” in their midst.
Those who always misunderstand. It seems as if not getting something the way it was intended is a character trait with some people. No matter how clear the instructions or how detailed the discussion, someone always comes up with, “But I thought….” It isn’t so much that they see things differently as it is “reinterpreting” them so they’re comfortable with them.
Those who are brain pickers. “I’m kind of stuck. Could you give me some ideas?” they say. You can count on it. Some are just plain lazy, but others, lacking self-confidence, feel free to take from others, and adding nothing of their own.