What may seem like great attributes are actually harmful habits. Spot them now before it's too late.
The hardest part about leadership is managing people. Everyone has their own quirks and ways of doing things, leaders included. And this is a great thing. Diversity is what creates culture and drives growth. If everyone thought the same, wrote the same and worked the same, then your business would be stale and stagnant (and likely no longer in business).
Despite having diverse professional backgrounds, employees tend to pick up some bad habits which can harm your company. Some may be obvious, such as procrastinating or negativity. However, others are much more difficult to spot -- but just as detrimental to your company's growth.
In fact, these may not seem like bad habits at all. In some offices, they're wrongfully celebrated or even encouraged. Unfortunately, they come with bad repercussions. Here are 3 bad habits leaders need to watch out for.
1. They apologize for asking questions.
How many times have you heard someone say, "Sorry, but what did you mean by..."
Many of us are guilty of saying sorry way more than we need to. Asking questions is what challenges companies to be better. It drives innovation. It also keeps people accountable.
Apologizing for it, especially beginning a question that way, automatically undermines the value of the asker. Saying sorry for simply speaking up creates hierarchy between employees.
A healthy corporate culture is grown out of an environment that values all opinions without judgment. Encourage your team to raise their hands without fear head on. For example, "You don't need to say sorry. That's a great question," can help steer people away from over-apologizing.
2. They say yes to everything.
In many ways saying yes can be an attribute. You want people working for you that are open to taking on new challenges and don't shy away from hard work.
However, taking on too many things doesn't do you any favors. This often ends with the person either burning out and handing in their resignation, or they produce poor work that's riddled with mistakes because they're rushing through deadlines.
Both scenarios are detrimental to your brand and your culture. When you see someone always raising their hand to take on what comes their way, pay attention. Ask to see their last project submitted, or talk to their clients to gauge if their needs are being met or ignored.
No one wins if your employees are stretched too thin. Least of all you. Leadership is about encouraging your staff to continually develop and try new things, but not if it's jeopardizing the employee and your business.
3. They don't accept recognition.
We are often our own worst critics. Even when things go right, we'll scrutinize any small part that wasn't perfect. When paid a compliment, we'll quickly pass the praise to someone else, or shoot it down entirely.
For example, an employee receives a compliment on giving a great presentation. More often you'll hear, "Thanks but I felt like I was talking way too fast," or "It was a team effort, everyone helped me put together my slides."
Taking a compliment has somehow become misconstrued with arrogance. Being humble is important, but so it taking credit when credit's due. Your staff work hard, so ensure they bask in the praise they're given.
The next time you give someone a pat on the back and they dismiss it, bluntly tell them to stop and take the compliment. A simple "thank you" -- period. No ifs, ands or buts. When people feel good about themselves, their confidence grows. And so does your business.