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Help manage away bad habits

Talented, hard-working employees are the heart of any organization. But what do you do when stellar performers in the organization display destructive behavior patterns?

Now everyone has their own quirks, and we all learn to work productively in spite of them. However, there are some highly competent people who are held back by fatal personality flaws. The habits can result in consistent problematic behavior, according to the Harvard Business Review article, “Managing away bad habits”.

The authors of the article uses the term “bad habits” not to describe compulsions like nail biting or smoking. The term “bad habits” is shorthand way to describe deep-rooted psychological flaws. At best, people with these “bad habits” create their own glass ceiling, which limit their contributions to the company. At the very worst, these people sabotage their own careers.

If it the situation seems hopeless – it’s not. There are effective ways to help people recognize and correct the bad habits. Managers that help employees break through their own personal glass ceiling provide the ultimate win-win scenario for both the individual and the organization.

If you are a manager, here are six behavior patterns to look out for in employees:

The Hero- The hero always pushes himself or herself – and subordinates – too hard to do too much for too long.

The Meritocrat – Believes the best ideas can and will be determined objectively and ignores the politics inherent in most situations.

The Bulldozer – Runs over others in a quest for power.

The Pessimist – Always worries about what could go wrong rather than considering how things could improve.

The Rebel – Automatically fights against authority and convention.

The Home Run Hitter – Tries to do too much too soon – in other words, swings for the fences before learning to hit singles.

As a manager, what can you do?

· Learn how to empower others to contribute at higher levels by providing special assignments, constructive feedback, and targeted development opportunities.

· Make a list of the key strengths and limitations of your colleagues and each person on the team. Find ways to utilize the strengths and to build understanding.

· Ensure that your teams have defined their purpose, goals, and vision. To be a team, team members must share their goals, and their work needs to be interdependent.

It may take plenty of time and energy on your part, but when a member of the team reaches his or her potential, both the person and the organization will benefit.

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