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Here is the cheat sheet for modifying your behavior style in small ways that can make a big difference.  If you just bite off a little bit instead of trying to turn yourself inside out, you can go a long way in fixing that thing your boss is unhappy about.

If you are a Thinker someone clearly forgot to tell you that perfect does not exist and that people can’t stand being around a know-it-all.  Your arrogance and judgmental manner can be a total buzz kill.  I know that you believe you are saving the day every time you speak, but here is what it sounds like to everyone else.

  • I told you that wouldn’t work.  If you had listened to me we wouldn’t be in this fix.
  • I’ll take care of that myself.  No one else knows what I know.
  • We did not agree to that and I have emails and documents over the past six months to prove it.
  • We don’t have nearly enough information to make a good decision on this.  We’ll need at least another month to do research.

We all get that you are smart and thorough.  But try to open your mind to the possibility that others might have something to offer.

  • Speed up.  Pick two or three routine activities and do them in less time and with fewer revisions.  It’s too much to ask you to move more quickly overall so just focus on a couple things.  If you start on the fourth draft, tell yourself that the changes you will make are so minute that it won’t make a difference.  And turn these assignments in early.  That’ll get your boss’ attention.
  • Hold your tongue.  There is a thrill in being able to say “I told you so” but there is a price to pay.  You may enjoy working alone but you will not like being isolated and frozen out.  When things go awry either say nothing or say something productive.  “Let’s take another look at this.  Maybe we aren’t back to square one.”  And wipe that smug look off your face.
  • Share your ideas early.  Part of what leads to the “I told you so” moment is that you tend to be the last one to speak up in meetings.  You sit back taking in all the information and passing judgment on everyone’s ideas.  It is not until the second before or after a decision is made that you raise your concerns.  Try to be part of the entire discussion as it unfolds by sharing early and often.  Bat ideas back and forth in an effort to come to the best conclusion.
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