Monday, November 11, 2013

Improve Yourself 16: Change Pesky Personality Traits

Personality challengesThis continues our series on how to improve yourself to get the biggest raises and best promotions

Sherman, a mechanical engineer, worked for the same munitions company for 22 years. He proved to be a solid individual producer within the company. His meticulous attention to detail made him a great engineer. It also affected his interpersonal skills. Social interactions did not come naturally to Sherman. He tried with small talk and showing an interest in their lives. Unfortunately, he did not do it well and it showed. His small personality quirks prevented his promotions. It left him on the outside of the best work teams and circles. Eventually, it led to his layoff from the company.

Types of Personality Traits to Change

Several personality traits may stall your career. They may include:

  • Talking too loud, too long, and too inappropriately
  • Laughing obnoxiously or too loud at inappropriate time
  • Lack of ability to interact socially or in small talk
  • Becoming defensive, obnoxious, or pushing back too hard
  • Telling off-color, ethnic, or offensive jokes at the office
  • Shy, withdrawn, diffident, or introverted
  • Losing your temper, becoming angry, or venting frustration
  • Assuming that your opinion is the only correct one and you must convince everyone to accept your perception
  • Seeing all issues in terms of black and white (frequently referred to as binary, because you only see 1s or 0s) and cannot comprehend grey areas for middle ground

How to Change Personality Traits

Changing your personality requires a lot of work, dedication, and help. You may try a number of possible solutions:

  • Study or listen to self-help books, videos, or audio files
  • Attend motivational seminars and workshops
  • Establish triggers to help you recognize when your personality creates problems
  • Ask your mentor and network of contacts to signal you when your behavior demonstrates inappropriate behavior
  • Meet with a therapist or counselor to modify behavior or personality challenges
  • Keep a daily journal of your behavior noting specific issues that may bring out your poor response
  • Identify other solutions
  • Enlist help from others

Wednesday we outline how the Change Anything process can help you improve yourself

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