How Not to Be Your Own Worst Enemy

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Most people enjoy lists. From Letterman’s top 10 to websites like listverse and list.ly that have turned the creation of lists into a business model—lists are everywhere.  The ubiquity of lists, especially numbered lists, has even resulted in parodies of list-making. Consider, XKCD’s stab at rewriting major 20th century headlines to get more clicks, by turning many of them into lists (e.g. 1920 - 17 Things That Will Be Outlawed Now That Women Can Vote!)

Our apparent fondness for lists has also led researchers to investigate this phenomenon, with some interesting results. Not only do we like numbered lists because of the way they organize information and cut through chaos, we also have an inherent bias toward “top 10” lists.  

All that aside, I came across this list from the Canadian Management Centre as part of a leadership development course and—even though it’s neither numbered nor “top 10”— thought it worth sharing.

Photo by WorldIslandinfo.com, Flickr

The worst things human beings can do to themselves:

  • Assume that the cause of loneliness, fear or unhappiness can be found outside oneself.
  • Let unhappiness become a habit.
  • Deceive oneself about oneself.
  • Compromise values, beliefs, integrity.
  • Permit one’s sense of self-worth to be undermined.
  • Avoid all risk at work and personally.
  • Indulge in boredom.
  • Be rigid. Hold fast to opinions, attitudes, beliefs, refusing to even think of change.
  • Put off living. Wait until tomorrow to do things that matter.
  • Ignore one’s physical condition. Overeat, smoke, drink too much, and refuse to exercise.
  • Hold emotions in, refusing to discuss problems.  Be an ostrich about difficulties in relationships.
  • Adhere to or perpetuate stereotypes (gender, race, etc.)
  • Take the people you love for granted, failing to acknowledge, reach out and connect.
  • Be cynical, accepting only what can be seen and proven.
  • Trust no one.
  • Pass on every bit of gossip you hear.
  • Envy others and resent their success.
  • Throw cold water on the joy of others.
  • Refuse to accept anything from anyone.
  • Complain about everything but do nothing constructive to solve problems.
  • Refuse to accept people as they are.
  • Judge others harshly.
  • Expect people to know your telepathically.
  • Indulge in self-pity.
  • Assume that your truth is the only truth.

Most of us instinctively know that the behaviors and habits described above are self-destructive. But do we remember that when were tired or taxed to our limits?  Since lists have come to permeate our lives (and our brains seems to like them), prominently posting this “not to do list” in our line of sight just might serve as the reminder we need to avoid being our own worst enemy.

 

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Worthwhile HR Reads of 2014

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A mass of information is produced every day about the people side of organizational management. In order to keep writing this blog, I read much of it.  Since organizations all dealing with many of the same issues, the content can be repetitive. Quite often, common sense is positioned as enlightenment.  Occasionally, something comes around that puts a new spin on an old problem, offers a unique perspective or proposes a different kind of solution. When that happens, reading is elevated from necessity to pleasure. Here are a few of my favorite HR (and HR related) reads from 2014. The …

10 Behaviors that Build Trust

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Last week we shared a list of Ten Behaviors that Kill Trust. I admit, presenting things in such a negative light went against the grain. So, being a glass-half-full kind of person, I decided to flip it around and offer some best practices and behaviors for building trust to counteract last week’s worst practices. Trust by Jol Ito, Flickr Building trust in the workplace starts with being trustworthy. Here are ten behaviors you can practice to become more trustworthy and build trust. Be honest: Be a truth-teller. Become known for answering questions honestly and telling the truth, even …

10 Behaviors that Kill Trust

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Dennis S. Reina, PhD and Michelle L. Reina, PhD have devoted their professional life to building and rebuilding trust in the workplace because, in their words:  “Business is conducted through relationships and trust is the foundation of those relationships.” Photo by Jesse757, Flickr While working directly with organizations for over 20 years, in those that foster relationship and trust-building behaviors, they found that employees focus on the work they were hired to do and productivity increases. When trust is damaged, however, morale and productivity begin to decline and turnover increases.[1] Although it’s possible to destroy trust …

I’m in HR and I Need a Laugh

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I sat down to write today’s blog and decided I needed a mood lightener. First, I thought about sharing one of those hilarious “it could only happen in HR” stories. But we’re not a big office and I’d run the risk of exposing personal information about an employee, so scratch that idea. Next, I dug through my humor folder, where I save stuff that tickles my funny bone, to see what popped. I had a reminiscent chuckle over this unattributed list found on a forum a while back.   Rules Left Out …

20 Secrets of the World’s Greatest Coaches

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20 Secrets of the World's Greatest Coaches Cleaning out some old files I came across a handout from a coaching workshop I attended some years ago. A single sheet of paper with the heading “The Coach’s Toolbox” and a list: Twenty Secrets of the World’s Greatest Coaches.[1] Heartfelt Coaching by woodleywonderworks, Flickr The page included a scorecard with the obvious intent of allowing participants to score themselves (from 1-5 on each attribute). It was blank. I’m not sure if that means I was uncomfortable scoring myself when I received the handout, or …

5 Top Corporate Succession Fails

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Pirate Bold. Wikimedia Commons, public domain In spite of the fact that succession planning is identified as a critical and strategic component of HR management, even major international corporations often get it wrong. Here is a quick review of what we consider to be some of the more damaging succession fails in the past few years. J.C. Penny Ron Johnson was brought in to J.C. Penney as CEO to preside over an attempted company makeover. While he was busy abolishing price markdown sales in favor of a “Fair and Square” pricing strategy and attempting to turn …

HR Technology Trends to Watch

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Aside from managing core HR data, Human Resources and technology may seem like an oxymoron at first glance. But in today’s tech and media saturated environment, managing data is only the beginning. At SHRM 2013, the SHRM Special Expertise Panel shared the following current and emerging HR Technology Trends. And one trend is crystal clear; HRIM is not just about employee data anymore. 1. HR Data is Secure in the Cloud The cloud is a secure place to do business. Even the U.S. Federal Government manages payroll and other government business in the cloud, as Amazon was happy to …

Making HR Fun in 3 Different Ways: A Carnival of HR Blogs

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All of us at TribeHR are excited to (once again) be hosting the Carnival of HR. For this week’s carnival, we asked HR bloggers to send us their best (recent) posts about making HR fun. When HR administration is slowing you down, that can be a tough theme. But as always, the HR blogosphere was up to the task. We only picked the best posts for inclusion in this week’s carnival. Here are the top 3 ways that HR makes its own fun: 3. Meetings and Metrics As Karin Hurt at Let’s Grow Leaders (subscribe here) …

Top Ten Performance Review Mistakes HR Professionals Make

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To try to boost employee performances, most businesses offer performance reviews on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, many managers and HR professionals never receive specific training on how to make a performance review useful and effective. As a result, performance reviews often end up having little impact on, well… anything at all. Here are the top 10 mistakes: Mistake #1: Vague feedback. Mistake #1: Too Vague Whether it’s a lack of preparation time, an inability to communicate effectively, or a fear of offending an employee, a lot of reviewers use vague language in their performance reviews. Worse yet, some reviews contain only numbers …

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