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According to new research from the New York Times bestselling authors of Change Anything, 97 percent of employees report they have some Career-Limiting Habit (CLH) that keeps them from achieving their potential at work. These habits cost employees raises and promotions they might have otherwise received.
Take Rick, for example. His boss—who also happens to be the CEO—describes him as both brilliant and a tyrant. He recently told Rick he is not on the succession plan for the CEO position because the board believes his bad temper would destroy the company.
That comment from Rick’s boss underscores the other key findings in the study. The study shows the vast majority of bosses are pessimistic their employees will ever change their CLH. In fact, bosses report that only 10 to 20 percent of their employees actually make profound and lasting changes to their CLH.
“This finding is incredibly discouraging when you consider the enormous investment companies make in performance management,” says Joseph Grenny, co-author of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.
The top 5 Career-Limiting Habits:
2. “It’s not my job”
4. Resistance to change
5. Negative attitude
Other CLHs that limit employees’ progression include: disrespect, short-term focus, selfishness, passive aggressiveness, and risk aversion.
Can you truly succeed without changing your CLH? According to managers, the answer is a resounding, “No.” Nearly half of bosses report that addressing employees’ glaring bad habit is three times more important than increasing their technical skills.
However, the online poll of 972 people, 493 of which were managers, found there are predictable paths to success for employees who want to reverse their CLH.
“Most of us think willpower and commitment are the key to changing our longstanding bad behavior, but successful changers know better,” says Grenny. “Those who aligned six unique sources of influence to help them change were ten times more likely to get rid of bad habits and improve their chances of advancement.”