n business, bad habits can have unintended consequences. Even the best employees do things—without thinking—that can have a detrimental effect on their careers. Executive coach Debra Benton, president of Benton Management Resources in Livermore, Colo., has identified five behaviors that can impede career advancement.
1 | Talking too fast. Speed makes what you say seem unimportant, if you’re heard at all.
2 | Offering too much detail. When asked the time of day, don’t explain how to build a watch.
3 | Being judgmental toward others. This person doesn’t suffer fools lightly and almost everyone is judged a fool.
4 | Too much self-criticism. People don’t like to hear you talk about your own inadequacies.
5 | Weak body language and speaking voice. Everything from nervous gestures and poor posture to a timid tone of voice can convey the wrong impression.
Changing these behaviors can make or break a career. According to Benson, author of How to Think Like a CEO, five minutes of the right behavior at the right time will be noticed as much as five months of hard work.