Everyone has professional habits: some good and some not so hot. The good habits are the ones we rely on, time after time. Because good, solid professional habits are the core foundation of our professional success.
Not only that. Solid professional habits, once honed and fine-tuned, create the customer experiences critical to customer success and customer retention. Professional habits are our collective contributions to our organization’s human capital strategy.
However, then there are professional habits which keep us stuck, spinning our professional wheels.
The first professional habit which holds us back from moving one millimeter forward is lack of emotional investment.
In exploring the impact of under-developed, middle of the road professional habits. These habits include the behaviors, actions and ideas which currently work for us some of the time, but not all of the time. Or, these ideas seem risky to us, because they fall out of the norm of the behaviors anticipated from our respective professional disciplines. Then again, out of sight, out of mind. Some customers experience the positive impact of these less-used habits. Others never see these habits, at all.
Then, the second pesky, not-so-hot professional habit which impacts how we deliver to our organizations and clients.
The first professional habit is Self-Doubt. OK. I can see everyone going off to Amazon and buying yet another self-help book. Recall the saying about “doing the same things, the same way and expecting different results?” The same can be said about self-doubt: it is a badly ingrained, negative professional habit which never produces a different result. So, when we catch ourselves doubting, once again: stop! Instead of getting into the endless spin-of-self-doubt, instead determine the root cause of that doubt. Then, throw it in a new area of the brain: the trash file. If the habit is not helping us, how can we help others?
The third professional habit to liberate oneself from is Excuse-Making.
Once we get comfortably into the self-doubt cycle, we naturally make excuses for why we doubt ourselves. One way to break the habit is think about our career trajectory. Is it stalled? Have we unintentionally undersold our capabilities? I cannot tell you the number of times I have coached professionals in all disciplines and generations through the overarching “why,” leading to failure to perform and its accompanying frustration.
When we are not in functional positions which challenge us – and we are innovators – we get burned out, real fast. If we are in functional positions which challenge us – and we are order takers – we become terrified and stall out. And, most often, the folks straddling the job function fence simply like to play it safe.
Over time, well-developed professional habits catalyze professional innovation and client success.
No one is perfect (see, an excuse). Understanding what each of us brings to our organization’s table, day after day, catalyzes professional innovation. And, trust me friends, the “what we bring” is far more than our professional titles, educational pedigrees, certifications or sales close ratio.
Today’s customers in digitally transforming industries anticipate continuing to do business with us because we are focused on becoming better and better. In better serving their needs. We are not complacent and content with remaining “as good as the day” they started doing business with us.
If you are one of the folks motivated to develop the professional habits and mindset that catalyze your professional success, and the success of your customers, take the following actions!
Move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible. Today. How?
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs showcase how profitable collaboration catalyzes purposeful, innovative personal development, leadership communication and business growth. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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