Beware of These Career Blockers

Personal Effectiveness and Preparing for Change - © Performance Management Consultants

Based on a respected study of 200 organizations, it is suggested that two-thirds of the difference between average and exceptional employees is due to relational skills.  The Center for Creative Leadership also says that the primary cause for career derailment involves deficits in emotional competence – including difficulty in handling change, weak team skills and poor interpersonal capabilities.

People skills are at the heart of personal and collective success in the public or private sectors, in service-delivery environments or in multi-functional project teams.  The communication technologies that allow us to transmit masses of information can degrade our relational skills and our ability to catch the nuances of human interaction and understanding.

Increasingly, career success depends on self-awareness, social maturity and the ability to use our relational skills while avoiding extremes of behaviour.  A strength that is used to excess can become a “career blocker.”  The following list illustrates how a strength can be seen as a career blocker if not used wisely:


Responsive               Too easily influenced
Careful                      Too Cautious
Free thinker               Eccentric
Confident                   Arrogant
Conscientious            Perfectionist
Sensitive                    Too emotional
Supportive                 People-pleaser
Direct                         Confrontational
Strong                        Domineering
Analytical                   Obsessive
Thorough                   Too slow
Organized                  Inflexible
Stable                        Change-resistant

Learning to maximize our relational skills, while avoiding career blockers, requires what is now referred to as emotional intelligence. The components of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-motivation, social awareness and social skills. Through his extensive international experience in the private and public sectors, Bill has observed how the development of these competencies can leverage strengths and unblock careers.

Is your career stalled?  We’re here to help.

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