Remember that bad habit you’ve been trying to break — or that healthy habit you’ve been trying to add? Whether it’s getting off your phone, drinking more water or hitting the pavement on the regular, chances are you’re aware of what habits you need to improve in your personal life.
But what about your professional life? Sometimes we get so laser-focused on project after project that we lose sight of the changes we need to make to succeed. Your bad habits may not even be on your radar. There’s no better time to get back on track and make small shifts — with a big impact in mind.
Sometimes we get so laser-focused on project after project that we lose sight of the changes we need to make to succeed.
Small changes add up! Explore the unprofessional habits you may be unaware of and get your game plan to turn things around.
You skip out on greetings.
It’s easy to lose track of common courtesy in the fast pace of doing business. When you’re flying into the office in the morning, do you forget to wish your colleagues, “Good morning”? What about your emails? In an effort to be efficient and responsive, you may be overlooking courtesy and kindness. While skipping the sign-off might save you a few extra minutes, you might be losing some respect.
Research shows the importance of a greeting. In small business settings, a smile and friendly greeting greatly increase loyalty. A classroom study from the University of Minnesota found that greeting students at the door increased engagement and decreased disruptive behavior.
It all comes down to human nature: we all simply want to be acknowledged and appreciated. Challenge your fast-paced notions by stopping to say hello and goodbye to your colleagues this week. Take a few seconds to add a greeting and sign-off to your email. You may be surprised what a difference this makes in your professional relationships.
You slink into meetings.
You know what they say about first impressions. That counts when you arrive at a meeting too! Even if you’ve worked with everyone at the table before, your entrance still counts. There’s a big difference between slinking into the room and walking in with confidence. New studies show that just changing the way you walk can change your mood. That’s how powerful your posture is!
Meetings are another setting in which it’s important to greet the people around you. Leadership presence coach Carol Kinsey Goman warns against rushing to your seat. “Walk in with good posture, shoulders back, and head held high,” she recommends. “You want to look like you know, without a doubt, that you belong in that room.”
Even if you’ve worked with everyone at the table before, your entrance still counts.
One way to bring this to life is to take a moment before taking your seat. Stop and greet others with a quick word or handshake before sitting down. There is no race to your seat. Take your time and act with confidence. The more you practice, the more natural it will get.
You’re distracted while others are speaking.
We all know why it’s illegal to text while driving: your brain can’t focus on two things at once. We recognize the dangers of distracted driving. And the same goes for the workplace. Your brain can’t focus on listening to a colleague and writing and email or responding to a message.
You might be well-intentioned, just dashing off a quick email so it’s one less thing to tackle later. But when you send or respond to a message while you’re connecting with someone else, you’re showing them they aren’t worth your time. And that’s something you never want people to feel when they’re around you.
But when you send or respond to a message while you’re connecting with someone else, you’re showing them they aren’t worth your time.
Ohio State University revealed that while it may make you feel better, multitasking hurts your performance. It turns out multitasking is simply a trick of the brain. You don’t actually get more done and you offend the people you’re ignoring while you’re trying to do it.
Issue a challenge to yourself to leave your phone behind or hidden away while you’re in meetings this week. Better yet, close your laptop or email browser so you’re not tempted to scan your inbox while your co-workers talking. The reality is, it’s just not worth your time to multitask!
Your network is mostly in-office colleagues or clients.
If you’re not networking outside of your company, you’re doing yourself and your network a disservice. When you’re around the same people all the time, you run the risk of groupthink. When everyone is thinking the same way, creativity is stifled. By getting outside of your current circle, you’ll help yourself think more creatively — which may lead to bigger and better opportunities than before.
And if you’re an entrepreneur, networking is likely a function of your job. But that laser-focus on building your client base and making the next sale can limit you as well.
Reports show that 85% of jobs are found through networking. How will you prepare for your next career move or grow your organization without networking outside of your office? Additionally, as you grow your network outside of your place of work, you will become a resource for your relationships and will be able to act as a connector, introducing people who could benefit from working together.
How will you prepare for your next career move or grow your organization without networking outside of your office?
At Central Exchange, we host regular referral and resource breakfasts to bring our community of like-minded, ambitious women together. This is an ideal opportunity to meet women outside of your organization and create lasting connections that will make a tremendous difference in your career and personal life. Find a networking event you’d like to try and get it on your calendar!
We are a supportive and understanding network ready to welcome you in. You’re welcome here! Join a community of women who are excited to lift each other up and make Kansas City an even better place to work. Be our guest at one of our many upcoming leadership programs.