Five (5) ways to beat career endangering behaviours


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A successful career is often built on a unique but adaptable personality that meets the demand of a given corporate environment and culture. That is how anyone stands a chance of making meaning contributions in any role or field.

Here is why that is important. Every organization is a collection of individuals of different shades and personalities. Hence behavioural coherence is essential to achieve set goals. Whoever therefore appears to be at odd with the realities within the organization is sidelined.

The terms ‘corporate culture’, ‘ethics’ and ‘internal marketing’ have been deployed as tactics to shape employees. When employees are shaped at the onboarding stages and later through constant trainings, they adapt by adopting the common corporate identity – some call it corporate personality.

Microsoft employees are highly confident. Apple staff members are weird. MTN employees exhibit high level of bravado. At GTB the staff members are smart. Employees, therefore, have had to beat their nuances into prescribed shapes like a local smith would beat wrought iron into beats. Not so many employees succeed at this.

Often, there are occasional odd behaviours. Think about an employee known to lack confidence, or is always shouting at colleagues; snobbish; plus possessing bad after work habit like excessive drinking, incessant lateness; and unwillingness to help colleagues etc.

Perhaps, a patient HR manager would look at areas where employees with corporate endangering behaviours are faltering and how they can help. But not everyones come out so lucky.

This is it. Career growth can be endangered by bad behaviours because anyone known for bad corporate lifestyle is eventually disqualified when the organisation decides to streamline or tap own talent funnel for top positions.

Employees may not be aware but critical assessments of the workforce are consistently being carried out by the management. Employees’ reactions to certain stimulus like stress, workload, teamwork, change, anger, risk and challenges are being screened. This is not to make a scapegoat of any employee. It is to shock-proof the future of the organisation.

Keep most employees back from stepping higher is the inability to manage triggers. Notice that stimuli are meant to provoke responses. The responses can be as off-putting as they can be likable and worth considering.

How anyone reacts to circumstances is what determines their personality. This is what certain folks call ”key’; like saying “I know his or her key” – how to turn him or her off or on!

Basically, it is possible for people to be switched on and switched off by pulling certain triggers like say ‘leave his mail unreplied for two hours and you will see him come banging on your office door’. This kind of predictability can be good or bad. But where triggers are known to bring about bad responses from an employee it forms a glass ceiling – a sort of limitation to growth.

 In this 21st century where knowledge can be found across borders, nationality and race is hardly the criteria for employment or promotion. The criteria for a favourable employment and promotion are both knowledge and personality.

Ask Google and Facebook why there are so many Indies and Latinos on their payroll. Talent is in abundance these days, getting to the top therefore will require more self-management. Just as a radio/ television presenter can’t succumb to unfavourable triggers, managers and employees of all levels must learn to put triggers in check, and put up a stage performance, if possible, to ensure their roles in those 8-12 work hours are optimally delivered without variance in a team vying to meet set goals.

Triggers are part of every human-being. They are a collection of emotions.   Triggers are programmed into every individual right from childhood, and through experiences that leave a lasting impact on the soul. These accumulated experiences form the ‘SELF’. This ‘self’ is the real personality that interacts with people and functions across all organised environment.

When emotions are not put under check, triggers can become a devil that haunt down careers.

How do you then manage the triggers?

  1. Recognise You Are Very Powerful: There is sufficient power in every human being to make or mar his or her life, including career. That power sometimes lies in one’s personality-type. One’s personality comes from formative experience. For instance children raised in broken homes show a level of brute. Where the formative experience becomes a barrier to career advancement, it is time for the victim to seek counseling. Better still, if you found you are slipping behind at work, work on yourself.
  2. Pay Attention to Yourself: If you do not pay attention to yourself, others who have observed you long enough would learn how to switch you on and off at will, without you knowing it. By paying attention to yourself you discover patterns in your behaviours. When you discover patterns in your behaviours you can choose to or not manage them. Academic excellence and personal bravado can only spur growth for so long; the stages of latter growth will always demand renewal. Renewal, remoulding, and revival are necessary to function in a new generation, a new system and time. Growth, like change, always requires resilience.
  3. Always Ask Why Before You Act? When triggered to react in certain ways, relax and asked why ‘I am I trying to react this way’. Then follow that with another question, ‘if B had done C, would I have behaved better?’ Then assume B has done C, and tweak your reaction. This is when you begin to choose your responses.
  4. Learn Detachment: Most times, decide, rather than trying to manage your emotion, to choose a new perspective entirely and let go of the emotion just triggered by a person or a circumstance. Choose a different thought, a new thing to focus your attention on immediately. This way, little by little, you become refreshed.
  5.  Learn not to react impulsively: Take a few seconds to think and quickly reexamine situations before you react to things. If you don’t, you will find out later that if you had just taken a second thought, things would have come out fine. Don’t follow your first thought – it may be largely impulsive. When you think twice you will find reason to do or not to do certain things. That may save you some errors.

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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