This attitude is so prevalent in the workplace and, if you’ve ever worked with a person like this, you know how frustrating it can be. This is not the mindset of a team player. This is someone who is simply checking the box—doing the minimum required to collect a paycheck and unwilling to stretch beyond their tiny little bubble.
Okay, perhaps I’m oversimplifying things. But that’s how it looks.
Here’s the truth: We all have to set limits in the workplace. You have a job. Your tasks and responsibilities are clearly defined. You can’t simply take on everything people throw at you. There are some things that truly are NOT your job; it’s your responsibility to set appropriate boundaries when needed.
I think this career-limiting habit is referring to the overall mindset of people who unreasonably resist taking on additional work even when it’s truly needed for the success of the team. There are times when we all have to do a little more to support others, even if it’s not specifically a part of our job description. That’s what it means to be on a team. Ultimately, at some point in the future, your teammates will do the same for you.
So how can you appropriately set limits without falling victim to the “It’s Not My Job” mentality? Here are some tips:
Pitch in and help others out when you can.
If you have the time and capability to do a little something extra to help out a team member, do it. Remember that there’s no harm in acknowledging that you’re doing him or her a favor, but don’t expect a perfect one-to-one exchange of favors. It won’t always happen that way.
Set limits for the right reasons.
It’s perfectly okay to say “no” in the workplace. However, there are good reasons (I’m at full capacity already, I’m not trained on that procedure, etc.) and there are bad ones (It’s not my job). Make sure that you’re setting limits for a valid purpose, not simply because you don’t feel like being a team player. Give a heartfelt and honest explanation about why you can’t help right now, but also avoid making overly lengthy excuses.
When setting limits, be helpful.
“It’s not my job,” is probably the most unhelpful sentence uttered in the workplace. It’s like a toddler screaming, “No! I don’t have to and you can’t make me!” It doesn’t do anyone any good. If you have to say no, show a sincere desire to resolve the problem. Offer alternatives and help find solutions. Come up with a few suggestions of how the work can get done without you.
Make it your job.
If you find that you’re constantly being asked to take on a task that truly isn’t in your job description, address it with management. Perhaps this should be your job. Perhaps you should have some authority and responsibility for it. Maybe you deserve a little added compensation as well. What a wonderful opportunity to discuss your role, re-evaluate your contributions, and demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond for the team.
Written by Chrissy Scivicque, June 30th, 2011 | 6 Comments »
Unreliability was identified as the number one career-limiting habit and it’s no surprise. After all, if the people you work for (and with) can’t depend on you, what purpose do you serve? Truth be told, unreliable people are actually dangerous to the success of the entire team.
If you want any level of career success, people have to trust you. They have to know that you will do everything in your power to meet your commitments. If you want to be seen as credible and a valued member of the team, you must first be reliable. Here are 3 strategies to help you overcome the career-limiting habit of unreliability.
Be True to Your Word
Never, never, never make a promise you don’t intend to keep. There is no quicker way to lose trust. And once trust is gone, it takes a very long time to recover (and sometimes, it’s simply gone forever). When you give someone your word, you are providing a personal guarantee and believe me, a broken promise will not go unnoticed.
Think of your word is a contract. Before agreeing to anything, be sure you understand the terms and conditions. If the deadline or expectation is unrealistic, address it. Yes, you always want to push yourself and challenge your capabilities, but not to the point where you can’t meet the commitment.
Under Promise, Over Deliver
Don’t just tell people what they want to hear. Instead of making promises that aren’t backed up with realistic planning, help yourself and make your commitments attainable. Set the bar at a reasonable level. And then, jump right over it.
If you promise something that is too challenging and then fail to deliver, you have no one to blame but yourself. Give yourself some leeway. Remember that (almost) nothing goes as smoothly as you hope it will in the workplace. Plan for disruptions. Expect surprises. Add “padding” to your estimates. This will only impress people when you perform over and beyond. And it will provide you with some wiggle room should Murphy’s Law kick in and everything that can go wrong actually does.
We all make promises that we intend to keep and then later realize we can’t. We all make mistakes. And though we want to do our very best, everyone falls short at times. These are just the facts of life. It’s how you deal with them that matters most. Be upfront and address problems right away.
If you can’t follow through on something you said you would, be apologetic and attempt to make it right immediately. If something happened that made it impossible for you to deliver on a promise, speak up and do everything in your power to fix it. Most importantly, don’t hide or make excuses or shift blame when things go wrong. Take responsibility. Own up to it. Make it right. And then figure out what happened so it can be prevented in the future.
Being reliable doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means that others can have faith in you. They can feel confident in your abilities and in your character. These are the things that business relationships are built on. Without question, unreliable professionals will certainly struggle when trying to get ahead in the workplace, so take action today to overcoming this career-limiting habit.
I stumbled upon this great article the other day and I wanted to share it with all of you. According to new research, 97 percent of employees report that they have a Career Limiting Habit (CLH) that keeps them from achieving their potential at work.
Here is a list of the Career Limiting Habits identified in the article: (updated to include links to ALL of my articles on the topics)
Even worse is that bosses in the study report that only 10 to 20 percent of their employees actually make any profound or lasting change to these habits.
The article provides some general guidance for overcoming these kinds of Career Limiting Habits, including investing in professional development (which I’ve been talking quite a bit about lately). But sadly, it doesn’t offer much in the way of specific advice for overcoming the 10 specific habits identified in the article.
As I always say, if you want something and it doesn’t exist, create it! So I’ve decided to address each of these Career Limiting Habits in a new series of articles I’ll be publishing over the next few weeks.
When it’s all done, you’ll have a comprehensive ten-step program for overcoming the most common Career Limiting Habits so you can achieve your true professional potential. Cool? Very.
Confession: I love the new hit show on NBC, “The Voice.” Maybe it’s because Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are so cute. Perhaps it’s because Cee Lo is so weird. Or maybe it’s just because Christina Aguilera strikes me as a train wreck waiting to happen…and when it does, there will be a lot of big hair and big vocals to accompany it.
Whatever the reason, I’m a fan.
While catching up on the latest episode last night, it dawned on me that there are some career advice lessons to be had from this spectacle. (Yes, I’m justifying my obsession…just go with it!). Behold the hidden career advice golden nuggets from The Voice.
In the show, each famous coach has the opportunity to take an unknown but talented singer and make them a star. The singers all have the basic capability, but they need mentorship. They’re amateurs and many of them appear terrified.
The ones who do well are willing and able to be coached. They don’t think they know it all. They’re open to criticism—and even hungry for it. They take their coach’s advice. That’s a big deal.
Are you coachable? Do you actively seek critique from those who have already achieved the goals you’re after? Are you willing to say, “Yes” even when the advice you receive is scary? These are the things that will make you stand out.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
The successful competitors push themselves. They allow their coach to stretch them. They remember this is a competition and that means you can’t just sit back and relax if you want to win.
On each show, the ones who have really stood out to me are those who make a conscious decision to step into new territory, even when it’s obviously uncomfortable. The ones who shine brightest are following the mantra of “go big or go home”.
Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Are you playing to win in the career game? Do you allow your mentors and advisors to push you, even when the fear seems insurmountable? This is what separates the good from the great.
Bring Your Own Suggestions
Song selection is always an interesting topic on the show. It appears to be a collaboration of coach and singer in most instances. However, the people that have really stood out for me so far (Dia Frampton and Vicki Martinez) both brought—and fought—for their song choice. In both circumstances, the songs could have gone horribly wrong. But, in the end, the coaches both said they were happy they had been convinced.
To me, this shows the importance of bringing your own ideas to the table. After all, the show is called The Voice. You have to be vocal if you want to be heard.
Have you found your voice at work? Do you share your thoughts or do you let others dictate the path? While being coachable is a critical component of success, you can’t just be a puppet. You have to have your own opinions and know when to speak up. Similarly, you have to know when to back down. It’s a tough note to hit but when it’s right, it rocks.
Do you watch The Voice? Who’s your favorite singer so far? Any other career advice you can pull from it?
Recently, while hosting a free group coaching call, I had a few questions from professionals who wanted assistance in the art of persuasion. Whether you’re looking to convince your boss that you need some additional training or you’re hoping to show an interviewer that you’re the best candidate for a job, persuasion is an essential tool for professional success.
Below, I’ve outlined the three basic steps you should follow to be persuasive in the workplace.
Know Your Position (and Believe In It)
First and foremost, what are you fighting for? You have to be clear about what you want to accomplish and why. Set out the specifics. How much money do you want for that training course? How much time do you need off to attend? Be clear about your goal. If you don’t know where you’re aiming, it’s easy to get off course.
Beyond that, it should matter to you. If you don’t care, don’t bother. Whatever you want to persuade another person to do (or think or feel), you simply MUST believe it’s the right thing. The more confidence you can demonstrate, the more convincing you’ll be.
You want a raise? You want your co-worker to take over a project for you? Step number one is to believe it’s deserved. Or, at the very least, to believe it’s rational. Are you asking this person to do something you wouldn’t do if the roles were reversed? If so, re-evaluate your position.
Have Evidence to Support Your Position
Facts are hard to deny, especially when they can be proven with evidence. Whatever your position, be prepared to back it up with concrete proof. If you’re going to a performance review, for instance, take samples of your work, complimentary letters from clients, and anything else that demonstrates your excellence. If you’re asking for a raise, take documentation that shows why you deserve more reward for your work. You may also want to take research that shows the appropriate salary range for a person in your field with your experience. The more you can point to tangible evidence (from reputable sources) to support your request, the more reasonable it will appear and the more likely you’ll get agreement.
Predict and Prepare for Objections
I have one mantra for professional success: Be proactive. Don’t react to what’s going on around you. Instead, predict and prepare. Be actively engaged in the discussion. Don’t wait for objections to come up. Anticipate them and know how you will respond. Be ready to have your request declined, and be prepared to rebut the verdict.
What could make this person refuse your request? What concerns will he or she have? How can you diminish those concerns and help this person see the wisdom of your point-of-view?
It isn’t always easy to get agreement, especially from superiors in the workplace. They need to be convinced. Appeal to their logic and remember to tune into WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). Tell the person how this decision will impact him and, on a bigger scale, how it will impact the company.
Follow these steps and you’ll be much closer to achieving your long-term career goals.