10 Thinking Habits to Avoid as a Leader

Certain aspects of thinking and behaving like a good leader can be tough for many leaders. The best leaders who grasp concepts like influence, vision, listening, and delegating with relative ease arrive there through hard work and practice and taking responsibility to own up to “our stuff” when “our stuff” is at fault. Remember the old saying, “for every finger you point, there’s three pointing back at you”?

How a leader thinks and acts can no doubt impact a team for better or worse. Better = high-functioning leadership fostered by mutual trust and accountability. Worse = dysfunctional leadership hampered by poor decision making and weak social/emotional intelligence.

How to think and act as a leader is as much about what you should do, as much as what you should not do. Our goal is intentional leadership – Being conscious and intentional about how you lead others and yourself.

These 10 common thought patterns hold leaders back, destroy their self-esteem, and damage relationships in the workplace. Do you see yourself? Being aware is the first step to change.

Being very

  1. Extreme – seeing things in black and white, and blowing things out of proportion.
  2. Broad – generalizing from a specific; labeling people rather than their behaviors.
  3. Negative – seeing the glass as half empty and dwelling on the worst possible outcome.
  4. Demanding – wanting things their way and having expectations that cloud a sense of reality.
  5. Judgmental – condemning others for their shortcomings and being unable to forgive.
  6. Obsessed – getting on a track of being unable to budge or view things differently.
  7. Confused – having pictures in their heads that do not match the “real world”; feeling that they don’t get what they think they’re “supposed to” get.
  8. Intolerant – having a need to have things the way they “should be”; finding it difficult to have patience and tolerance for differences that don’t fit their needs and expectations.
  9. Perfectionist – having a need to be “right” and not make mistakes.
  10. “Shoulding” on Self and Others – placing expectations of how one “should” be, thereby limiting their ability to accept self and others without judgment, leading to negativity and tendency to criticize.

Which of the above resonates with you as a leader? What may be the hardest distorted thinking pattern to overcome? Or even accept that it’s dysfunctional? Which may be the easiest to overcome? We would love to hear from you – aha@ahaleadership.com

Reference: Article Lead Change Group, March 18, 2016