27 Jul 2015 19:24 IST

A tale of two sets of behaviours: Managing your "In Spite of" "behaviours!

Cultivate “because of” and try and get rid of ‘’in spite of’’ behaviours

Listening to Dr Marshall Goldsmith and reading his books has always been a pleasure. You learn so much about managing yourself a lot better.

He extensively wrote on getting better and more successful and on what can come in the way of achieving our full potential and if we do not pay attention can potentially derail our career. The damage may be done even before we realise!

Because of

As we grow in our jobs, we want to succeed and do even better. But in our quest for growing and becoming even more indispensable to our organisations, we fail to analyse and recognise the source of success in detail.

In his characteristic style, Dr Goldsmith draws our attention to two sets of behaviours: (1) ‘’Because of’’ behaviours; and (b) ‘’In spite of’’ behaviours. Understanding this is no rocket science.

‘’Because of’’ behaviours are clearly those that we know have helped us do well, climb the corporate tree and enjoy success. Working hard, listening well, receiving feedback and acting on it, collaborating at work, sharing knowledge and information, coaching and mentoring juniors, forecasting the future, unlearning and relearning continuously and other such behaviours have a profound influence on our contribution and growth.

In spite of

At the same time, we may also be acquiring some behaviours that are not productive, healthy or right, but have possessed us. We may not recognise these as negative or inappropriate at one level because we have been successful so far in spite of these behaviours. Worse still, some of us may even regard these behaviours as “because of’’ behaviours.

Dr Goldsmith has elaborated over 20 such behaviours. When these behaviours become routine, they become habits. They include: Wanting to win too much, an overwhelming desire to add one’s two cents to every discussion at work, making destructive comments, passing judgements, speaking when angry, stealing credit for others’ contributions, withholding information and the like.

We are so successful in our career so far that we do not recognise the derailing effect of these ‘’in spite of’’ behaviours. Confusing the “because of” and “in spite of” behaviours can hurt our career and future success.s

Each of us is unique in what our “in spite of” behaviours are that have so far not hurt our progress, but very likely will going forward. The only way to avoid falling in to this trap is to seek feedback from our juniors, peers and seniors to recognise these “in spite of behaviours” and drop them.

To read more from the From the Coach section, click here .