Changing one or two interpersonal habits can help you gain respect at work and at home.
In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (Hyperion Books), executive coach Marshall Goldsmith identifies 20 habits that annoy people and explains how to break those habits.
Annoying habit No. 1: Clinging to the past. “Many people enjoy living in the past, especially if going back there lets them blame someone else for anything that’s gone wrong in their lives,” Goldsmith writes. “It takes me a long time to convince clients that they can’t change the past or make excuses for it. All they can do is accept it and move on.”
Annoying habit No. 2: Refusing to express regret. “Just think how bitter you felt when a friend failed to apologize for hurting you or letting you down,” Goldsmith says. “And think of how long that bitterness festered. People who can’t apologize at work may as well be wearing a T-shirt that says: ‘I don’t care about you.’”
Apologizing turns adversaries into allies. It forces everyone to let go of the past and make things better in the future. All you have to say is: “I can’t change the past. All I can say is I’m sorry for what I did wrong. I’m sorry it hurt you; I have no excuse and I will try to do better in the future.”
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