April 7, 2011 / 1:31 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Change your offensive behavior

Traders in the Eurodollar options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade signal orders shortly after the Federal Reserve's decision to leave short-term interest rates untouched between zero and 0.25 percent in Chicago, November 3, 2010. REUTERS/Frank Polich

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Do behaviors or actions that you think are cute or “just the way I work” make you come across as a jerk? What you think of as authentic leadership can just be bad leadership, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Being authentic is not an excuse for being a jerk. Yes, we all have bad habits that feel innate, but don’t claim ‘that’s just the way I work’ when your behavior hurts or impairs others’ progress.

Instead, face the truth and find ways to change your bad behavior:

1. Find out what others think. You may not know what your worst habits are. Ask a trusted colleague what is difficult about working with you. Listen carefully, do not try to respond, explain, justify, or defend.

2. Find an alternative. Next time you have the urge to misbehave, what will you do instead? Make a promise to your team or peers to act differently.

3. Pay the price. Commit to a consequence for breaking your promise. Make sure it has a cost to you but is also constructive.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Authentic Leadership Can Be Bad Leadership” by Deborah Gruenfeld and Lauren Zander.

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