In the book For Your Improvement, authors Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger highlight 19 behaviors that could be considered career stallers and stoppers. The authors methodically present conditions under which some personal development might be called for: • You are average in a skill that needs to be higher. • You are weak or unskilled in an important area. • You are untested in an important area. • You overuse or overdo a strength to the point that it is causing problems for you. Here is a short list of competencies identified by the authors as necessary for career success. If one has deficiencies in these areas, the resulting behavior to be remedied is as follows:
1. Unable to adapt to differences
2. Poor administrator
3. Overly ambitious
5. Betrayal of trust
6. Blocked personal learner
7. Lack of composure
9. Lack of ethics and values
10. Insensitive to others
12. Overdependence on an advocate
13. Overdependence on a single skill
15. Performance problems
16. Political missteps
After presenting these competencies, the authors walk the reader through a plan for addressing any weaknesses.
Some of the caveats presented are:
(a) make sure you are working on the right need;
(b) watch out for phantom needs; and
(c) watch out for a weakness masking as an overused strength.
The introduction to the guide ends by presenting the reader with seven steps to address a deficiency that needs to be developed:
1. Try to determine what your real need is.
2. Read the unskilled definition.
3. Check the causes that might apply to you.
4. Read the map.
5. Look at the general plan.
6. Look at the specific topics and pick the ones that apply to you.
7. Lay out a plan and schedule.
8. Get busy! Over the years, I have recommended this book to several colleagues, and I currently use it in practice. If you are looking to add to your list of references for career development, this book is a must-have addition. The authors provide best practices and behaviors for creating balance along with remedies for each behavior. I highly recommend using this book as a coaching guide for learners, supervisors, managers, mentors and feedback givers. Tammy McIntyre is owner of McIntyre Employment Service, an agency providing individuals and small businesses with career development services. She welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.