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5 Things You Do Every Day That Undermine Your Authority

How acquainted are you with your subconscious?

My guess is, you’re more like strangers instead of BFFs. I mean you’re a busy professional! You don’t have time to dig into the corners of your mind – especially if it’s not paying you, right?

Yeah, no.

Your subconscious mind performs about 95% of your brain function. Not only is it responsible for bodily functions that you don’t think about, but it also houses your beliefs, memories, thoughts, emotions, and skills.

Basically, it’s running your life.

It has way more power than your logical and intellectual proclivities. You can be smart as a whip and intentional as a military sergeant but still have major blind spots – especially in your career.

With this in mind, I ask you, what’s influencing your work style? If you find yourself “doing everything right” but seem not to be getting far, then it’s a good indicator that your subconscious is running things and you are clueless about where it’s going. Having authority in the workplace is more than assertiveness or aggressiveness. Impactful authority with finesse…

Take a look at these behaviors to determine how you might be subconsciously undermining yourself and stalling career growth.

Passive Speech

Using passive speech to communicate waters down your message. People can’t take you seriously when you’re wordy, unclear, or indirect. Passive speech minimizes action.

An example of the issues of passive speech is,

“The deadline was missed.”

By who? Why? When? Passive speech leaves too many answers and provides no solutions.

You Don’t Do What You Say – Even in the Small Things

We think that missing small commitments (even those you created for yourself) are harmless. The initial impact appears non-existent, however, this behavior plants seeds of untrustworthiness within your relationships, erodes the credibility of your brand, and silently breeds insecurity within yourself.

In your day-to-day, this looks like:

  • Not sending an email at the time you said you would

  • Continuously rescheduling your coaching session

  • Rationalizing not going to the gym although you have SMART fitness goals

If you are stumbling through being responsible with the small things, it sends a blaring message that you can’t be trusted to handle more important projects.

Shirking Praise or Recognition

It’s true that some behavioral styles shine in more collaborative environments - working behind the scenes opposed to their work ethic and accomplishments being on full display. If the former is the case, it can be uncomfortable to receive praise and compliments. Some even feel like it’s noble to reject recognition.

Unfortunately, this undermines your authority in a double-edged way. Playing down praise can come across as not valuing yourself or that not valuing the person providing the praise. Continuing this behavior can erode the perception of your capabilities - which affects the quality of the opportunities you receive.

Inflating Your Sense of Self

Opposite of the praise avoiders are those who are so comfortable with praise that they praise themselves! People are naturally drawn to confident colleagues but no one likes a gloater!

Intuitively, you’d think that keeping your accomplishments at the forefront of your team’s mind is laying groundwork for promotion. Instead it sucks the energy out of the room, disrupts collaboration, and makes people pay more attention to your flaws in case they want to use them against you one day.

Not Redirecting Negative Conversation

Sometimes a little water cooler talk over juicy information can be a bonding experience! The trouble is when gossip consumes most topics of conversation. It takes a courageous person to go against the grain of the group and redirect negativity to productivity. Doing so could change the growth potential of the team, but it also commands respect. Otherwise, you are complicit in brewing poison on your team.

The key here is to be aware of the behaviors that may be running on autopilot that could be sabotaging the very influence you’re trying to expand. As you focus on both personal and professional development and surround yourself with integral, self-aware people, your subconscious will stay out of the driver’s seat and stop creating career blind spots.

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