Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stop It! And Succeed

Yesterday was the last day of a four-part management program I presented for a college here in North Carolina.

One of the participants was a young woman, early-20s, who is smart, quick and obviously headed for bigger things.

But, she spent a lot of time in class—all four sessions—messing with her fingernails, the ends of her hair and the tassle on a cellphone holster.

Maybe she was bored, I certainly understand that. I get bored hearing me talk sometimes. Maybe it’s me just being an old…mmm….fuddy, duddy.

After watching her do it for three hours, though, I determined that her habits were probably something she does in meetings at work.

So, the next week at a break I caught up with her at a break and pulled her aside. I gently pointed out that if she wasn’t aware of her habits she should be. I talked about what a smart person she seemed to be and that I’d hate for her progress at her current job and in her career to be stunted because people saw her habits as immaturity.

And yes, I get that fact that me bringing the issue up to her brought up an element of risk on a variety of levels. But, she’s a smart, young person and if people can catch negative issues early they can often advance more quickly. If I can help someone move ahead I’ll certainly do it; so, I’ll take the risk.

We often don’t have any idea how some of our habits hold us back. We seldom are fortunate enough to have people who will candidly discuss those things with us.


That’s not to say that we listen all the time. But, we should.

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