Monday, March 25, 2019

The Dumbest Habit That's Going to Hurt Your Career

Whenever I get interviewed as a "career expert" I'm often asked: "What do you think it the biggest problem in the workplace today?"

My answer? "Communication."

Whether it's communication between colleagues, between a boss and an employee or even in the c-suite, I see the most problems crop up because people simply don't communicate clearly or effectively.

Think about it: When you had that dust-up with a team member, can it be traced back to the fact that the team member didn't tell you exactly what he had planned? Or, do you have a problem with the boss because she doesn't clearly explain what she wants?

At the same time, perhaps you've become a poor listener. Maybe you don't give your full attention when someone is speaking in a meeting or in-person. Admit it: You're sneaking looks at your texts in a meeting and you're thinking of all the stuff you need to do when a co-worker stops by your desk to discuss something.

I think communication has only gotten worse with the increasing use of texts in the workplace and a new survey backs this up. A Podium survey finds that 77 percent of respondents have texted someone in the same room, and 70 percent have done so with someone within a 100 feet of them.

Seriously? Do you honestly believe you're communicating effectively through text? Or, is it a way for you to avoid speaking to someone in person, which you may consider too time consuming? The survey also finds that 12 percent of respondents texted while in a conversation with a boss as work. SERIOUSLY??

This is a slippery slope and a lot of you are going to find yourself at the bottom very quickly. Texting is something that we all do, but that doesn't mean it should be a substitute for forming a better connection with colleagues, bosses and customers. Your career success is going to be built on forming good connections and relationships with others, and that's not going to happen if you can't talk to someone who is within 100 feet of you.

Try going on a texting hiatus. Stop texting in meetings. NEVER text when speaking with the boss, unless she tells you to do it. Don't text a co-worker within 100 feet and don't text when someone is speaking to you.

There will be times when you need to text because that's what a boss or customer prefers. But in other situations, try to cut down on texting and work on your interpersonal communication skills. Nothing will benefit your career more.

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