It’s time for another super short and highly informative Ask Halelly episode of the TalentGrow Show, where I answer a question from a listener, a learner in one of my corporate workshops, a member of the audience at one of my conference speaking events, or a member of the media.
This week’s question is: “What’s a way that I may be sabotaging myself at the office without even realizing it?”
My answer: Saying ‘Yes’ too much. If you’re guilty of this kind of behavior, you need to recognize that it may sabotage you in more than one way. Get the details by listening to the full episode (it’s less than 6 minutes long!) and be sure to submit your own question that might be featured on a future episode of Ask Halelly on the TalentGrow Show!
Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow.
Hey there TalentGrowers, it’s time for another super short and highly informative Ask Halelly episode of the TalentGrow Show, where I answer a question from a podcast listener, a learner in one of my workshops, a member of the audience at one of my conference speaking events, or a member of the media. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow, where developing leaders is my jam! Are you ready for the question? Here we go:
Question: What’s a way that I may be sabotaging myself at the office without even realizing it?
My answer: Of course there are a million ways, and I don’t really know about the specifics of the situation, but if I were to tell you something that I think is common and is a big mistake, I would say that saying ‘Yes’ too much. That’s right. You say yes too much, you’re creating a big problem for yourself.
Lots of us are ‘people-pleasers.’ We want to make people happy or to say yes to them, or we’re scared to say ‘No’ because we’re worried it may create conflict. We’re worried that the person might become upset with us. We’re worried that they will not come to us again, that it’s going to come back to haunt us if we decline or push back on a request when we are already fully-booked with work. Maybe we’ll be seen as a poor team player, or will be passed up for a great opportunity down the road, so we say ‘Yes’ to everything we’re asked to do, even when we know we just can’t get it done because of prior commitments.
If you’re guilty of this kind of behavior, I really hope you’re going to think about it again and stop it. You need to recognize that it might be sabotaging you in more than one way:
1. First, right now you’re going to say yes to something you can’t take on, and now you’re going to find yourself with the impossible task of doing more than is feasible in the time available. That means that eventually you’ll be faced with the choice of letting something slip or doing things in a half-hearted way or completing all of the things you have to do in a way that’s less than stellar.
2. But it will come back to haunt you in another, a little bit more insidious than that: you are training other people to give you more work. You’re training them that by you saying yes, when they delegate something to you, that they should keep it up. That you’re always open. That you never push back. And so with your overly accommodating behavior, you are teaching others that it’s okay to overload you. Even if that’s not their intention. So in this way, you’re actually creating a vicious cycle that will be more ingrained and harder to stop later if you keep doing this.
I hope that you’ll think about this and recognize that sometimes you need to say no or you need to push back and there are ways to do that, without all of the negative ramifications. I can talk about that in another show. But the bottom line is, you need to protect yourself, and your quality of your work, and your sanity, and your level of stress and the brand of who you are and what you do and what you produce.
Because by saying yes in an effort to be seen as a great member of the team, you actually might create the kind of brand you’re trying to avoid creating in the first place.
I’d love to know what you thought about this topic and about my answer? Are there other ways people typically sabotage themselves in the office? What would you add?
Would you like to submit a question for a future “Ask Halelly” episode? It’s easy! Just use the voice messaging widget right here on the website to record a short message. It’s on every single page of my website, on the upper right-hand corner. And with your permission, I can actually use your voice on a future Ask Halelly episode!
But of course you can also send me an email, or a ‘contact us’ form on this site, or a comment-based question, or a tweet…. Whatever you prefer! Just ask!! 😊
Of course, if there are people or topics you’d like me to cover in a future episode where I interview someone, let me know.
Be sure to grab my free download called the 10 Mistakes That Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them. That way you can avoid messing up and being the kind of crappy leader people hate to follow. We don’t want that! Are you making some of those mistakes? You can find out in that tool. It’s free, and by downloading it you’ll also start getting my short, fun, weekly updates and never miss another episode.
Well, that’s it for another Ask Halelly episode. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow. Thank you for listening. And until the next time, make today great!
[You may enjoy my follow up podcast episode about Why and How to say No Without Seeming Like an Unhelpful Jerk as well as my blog post about the same subject, titled Halelly's 5A Formula for saying no without making enemies.]
About Halelly Azulay:
Have we met? I'm Halelly Azulay. I'm an author, speaker, facilitator, and leadership development strategist and an expert in leadership, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. I am the author of two books, Employee Development on a Shoestring (ATD Press) and Strength to Strength: How Working from Your Strengths Can Help You Lead a More Fulfilling Life. My books, workshops and retreats build on my 20+ years of professional experience in communication and leadership development in corporate, government, nonprofit and academic organizations.
I am the president of TalentGrow LLC, a consulting company focused on developing leaders and teams, especially for enterprises experiencing explosive growth or expansion. TalentGrow specializes in people leadership skills, which include communication skills, teambuilding, coaching and emotional intelligence. TalentGrow works with all organizational levels, including C-level leaders, frontline managers, and individual contributors.
People hire me to speak at conferences and meetings and to facilitate leadership workshops, but what I love most is to help fast growing organizations create a leadership development strategy and approach.
I'm a contributing author to numerous books, articles and blogs. I was described as a “Leadership Development Guru” by TD Magazine. I blog, publish a leadership podcast (um, hello?!), and have a popular free weekly subscription newsletter – so you should definitely sign up at www.tinyurl.com/talentgrow.
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