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You have likely met people who are very ambitious, and you may be one of them. However, there is a fine line between being driven and being abrasive. If you end up crossing this line from being passionate and driven to being abrasive, it prevents people from wanting to help you succeed.
Use these three warning signs to prevent yourself from crossing the line to abrasive:
As you make progress in your career and take on more responsibility, you will eventually hit the ceiling of complexity. What this means is that you will hit a point where you are no longer making the wins that you were used to earlier in your career. This can cause people to become more abrasive as they are frustrated with not making the kind of gains that they would like to make.
One way to solve this problem is to recognize that you can always reach out to your team for help. Move from “me” to “we.” You can get great results when you have a team behind you generating those results and that team can help you crash through the ceiling of complexity so that you can get to the next level of your career growth.
Many people are labeled as abrasive because they come off as being too abrupt or they actually make demeaning comments or eye rolls to show their displeasure with their team. Once the team starts to feel that you do not respect them, they are not going to go out of their way to help you be successful.
If it goes too far, they may even actively work against you achieving your results. I have seen many good leaders who end up disrespecting their team and the team actually ends up forcing the leader out.
If you tend to be more abrupt in your communication style, make sure that you take the time to explain yourself and do it in a way that is not so clipped and abrupt and abrasive. Then you will get your team onboard, and they will appreciate you respecting them.
Stretch goals are essentially when you try to stretch the goal so that your team will achieve more. The problem is when you set the target so high that it is impossible to hit. This, in turn, will cause you and your team to be frustrated. Your team will think that there is no way to win this situation.
Instead, help your team focus on the gains that they have made so that they feel like you are a cheerleader for them. This way they can continue to make those gains into the future and maybe even achieve more than they ever thought was possible. Use positive encouragement to attain the growth instead of negative criticism, and you will be seen as less abrasive.
Once you work on becoming a more constructive, and less abrasive leader, you may want to build on other leadership skills. That is where we come in with our established Front Line Leadership program.
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