The 20 Bad Habits
Challenges in Interpersonal Behavior
1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations.
2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our 2 cents to every discussion.
3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we think
make us witty.
5. Starting with NO, BUT, HOWEVER: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which
secretly say to everyone that I’m right and you’re wrong.
6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they
think we are.
7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative
thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an
advantage over others.
10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to give praise and reward.
11. Claiming credit that that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our
contribution to any success.
12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so
people excuse us for it.
13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and
people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re
wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only
trying to help us.
19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who
Source: © 2007 Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
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