If you want to win friends and influence people, it’s important to spend time evaluating your personality from time to time. Do others gravitate toward you or subtly slink away when you leave the room?
Influential leaders know how to gain respect and bring out the best in others.
Move in the Opposite Spirit: Traits 6-10
In last week’s blog, we shared five traits to avoid and how to replace them with better habits.
Here are several more from the “notorious” top ten, with five essential qualities to emulate instead:
If people are always telling you to look on the bright side, it’s likely that you are the “Debbie Downer” in the room.
While it’s ok to be a realist, melancholy people are perceived as whiny, impossible to please, and a drain on everyone around them.
How can you fix this? Do your best to avoid talking about things that bum you out. When you’re tempted to complain, choose something upbeat or beautiful to focus on instead. If you have a headache or a car problem, consider asking someone else about their day instead of talking about yours.
Change the atmosphere, and you’ll change EVERYONE’S mood – and your reputation.
Arrogant people come across as prideful, rude, or long-winded in conversation.
If you find that you regularly turn conversations back to you – or you make yourself the hero of every story – you might be repelling those you’d like to attract.
To grow in humility, remember this phrase: “collectively, we are genius.” Don’t try to be the expert at all times. Encourage the value in people through active listening, empathy, and a friendly spirit. Admit your own mistakes and apologize. Affirm others when you’re tempted to make much of yourself.
8. Focused on External Factors
Many years ago, Dale Miller conducted a study that compared two groups of executives.
One group was identified as highly effective and ready for a promotion, while the second group was eventually deemed unready or unsuited for the role.
The difference? A willingness to accept responsibility for the results of a task or team.
Unaccountable people are seen as unreliable, quick to blame others, or as embodying a victim-based mentality. In contrast, leaders are seen as “get it done” people – those who are willing to reject passivity and accept responsibility.
To grow in personal responsibility, embrace the mindset that says, “I am the person who must make this happen.” Take ownership for a task, accept criticism for mistakes, and apologize for outcomes that fall short of the goal.
In the movies, it’s cool to be spontaneous.
In real life, it’s often a disaster. Impulsive team members can be reckless, imprudent, arrogant, and oblivious to the feelings of others. They are often wrong – but never in doubt!
The annoyance factor here comes after the fact – when your decisions have hurt the people you care about. To avoid this tendency, delay big decisions at least 24 hours. Ask wise colleagues to give input or play the devil’s advocate to help you see all sides of a situation. And brainstorm other possibilities without assuming your instincts are correct.
10. Unbearably Sensitive
Overly sensitive people seem to have low self-esteem; they come across as weak, emotionally needy, passive-aggressive, selfish, or fearful of confrontation.
Have you ever been with someone who sucked the air out of the room or made every situation about THEM? If you have, you know why people will run away screaming if you do this.
To avoid this pitfall, let things go, strive to believe the best about others, and smile when you’d rather cry. And express your true feelings only after considering the best place and method to do so.
Change Your Words, Change Your Outlook
Do you see yourself in any of the traits from this list?
The first step is recognizing it. From here, you can pay attention to bad habits and make productive changes for the future.