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Three Personality Traits That Hurt Your Career AND How to Fix Them

By Lisa Woods (743 words)
Posted in Communication Skills on May 21, 2012

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It seems simple enough to assume one’s attitude has an impact on success.  But what is not so simple is understanding if you exhibit certain attitudes that prohibit yours.  Unless someone actually pulls you aside and tells you that you should change, you will not know until you examine yourself.  That is because bad attitudes are like bad customer service.  People will just take their business elsewhere rather than complain…. promotions and opportunities work the same way.  Nobody is going to tell you how you really come across…they will just pass you by so they don’t have to deal with you anymore.  So how can you examine your attitude?  Here are three personality traits that hurt your career and how to fix them.  Ask yourself…is your attitude holding you back?


Personality Trait #1: Sarcastic Humor

Sure people may laugh at your jokes, but nobody likes you for them.  When you have to joke at someone’s expense it is a clear sign that you are not promotable.  How can you be an inspiration to others if they fear they will be talked about behind their back?


Personality Trait #2: Negative Complaining

You are at work, not therapy.  Don’t bring your problems to work and don’t share your work problems with others.  If you don’t like something, fix it…. if you try to fix it and it is out of your control, take control of other areas where you can have a positive impact and move on.  If you are really miserable every day, then go look for a new job, but do not complain in a negative way.  Keep in mind that you can still complain in a positive way, through identifying issues and proposing solutions.


Personality Trait #3: Crude or Profane Language

Look around at the people who are doing well in your company, in your field, and in business overall.  Do you notice that they all have gutter mouths in common? I don’t thinks so.  Pay attention to your language at work, it makes a big difference in how you are perceived.


Look, there are hundreds of ways to do well, but I think it is important to work on changing some things that hinder your performance.  Listen to yourself, hear what you are saying and pay attention to how you say it.  Start to watch the faces of those around you when you speak.  Once you pay attention, you will begin the professional development process to improve your attitude and break down barriers to career growth.  People will be more comfortable around you, they will trust you more, and be more open to seeing your abilities instead of the negative barrier you used to have in front of you.


I hope this perspective is helpful to you in your day-to-day life.  Test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your experiences.  Good luck!



Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


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Comments (4)

Marie posted on: May 23, 2012

Good article that I will keep print and with me as a reminder when those times when bad attitude start to filter in to my brain. I think most people want to do well but negative gets in the way.

James Welch posted on: June 29, 2012

Perhaps you have heard that attitude is like a thermostat on a car. It does not measure temperature but instead regulates it. Yes, it does impact your success. I have to admit that many times my own attitude has gotten in the way of success.


Heather Stone posted on: January 12, 2013

Hi Lisa,
Traits like these certainly have an impact on your personal brand and, of course, they can have a negative affect on entrepreneurs and small business owners in the same way they hurt a professional career in corporate America. Thanks to Dan Woods for sharing these thoughts with the BizSugar community.

Marc Carriere posted on: January 15, 2013

These three tips can be helpful to anyone. People get comfortable with the people they work with and start to act more like they are hanging out with their friends when they are at the workplace. It is still a professional environment.

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