The following are flawed communication patterns compiled from Marshall Goldsmith’s book “What got you here won’t get you
there.” (Pg. 40). Most leaders do these and just don’t realize it.
- Winning too much: the
need to win at all costs and in all situations- when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.
- Adding too much value:
The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
- Passing judgment: The
need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
- Making destructive comments: the needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
- Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right, You’re wrong.”
- Telling the world how smart you are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
- Speaking when angry:
Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
- Negativity: “Let me
explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we were not asked.
- Withholding information:
The refusal to share information with others to maintain an advantage over them.
- Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
- Claiming credit that we do not deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contributions to any success.
- Making excuses: The need
to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
- Clinging to the past: The
need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset to blaming everyone else.
- Playing favorites:
Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
- Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
- Not listening: The most
passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
- Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
- Punishing the messenger:
The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help.
- Passing the buck: The
need to blame everyone but ourselves
- An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.