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Unleashing the Power of Behavioral Elements in Your Career

Updated: May 22, 2023




When it comes to building a rewarding career, there are no shortcuts or hacks. It's a journey that requires effort and dedication. However, there are proven methodologies and processes that can make this journey worthwhile. Today, let's delve into the behavioral aspects and influences that shape our careers.


Seasoned professionals often share insights like, "The best business solution is rarely the best technical solution," or "They might excel technically, but they struggle with the softer, people-oriented elements." These words of wisdom highlight the importance of considering the human side of our professional interactions. Sometimes, we're lucky enough to receive advice from experienced individuals who remind us to pay attention to these softer aspects of our careers.


I recently had the privilege of speaking with the CEO of a major Private Equity firm, and he shared a story from over 30 years ago. At the time, he held an entry-level engineering position and was involved in a project to drive change. One of the consultants (whose name he still remembers) took him aside and, in a non-threatening manner, shared the secret sauce of understanding human behaviors and how they can influence success, both upward and downward. He attributes that guidance to shaping his demeanor and subsequent success. It's a testament to the impact of words, genuine care, and recognizing the human element in our professional lives.


Behaviors are the observable actions that others use to form an opinion of our presence. It's about the mindset we bring, how we carry ourselves in the spaces we occupy and the energy we exude (some might call it attitude). Good or bad, these behaviors are noticeable and can leave a lasting impression.


Let's explore some key behaviors that deserve our attention:


  1. Professionalism, integrity, character, and ethics: These qualities lay the foundation for meaningful relationships and trust. While it's challenging to quantify them, we all recognize their presence or absence within 30 seconds of an encounter. It's not just about what we say or do, but how our presence makes others feel. People may not remember every word we say, but they will remember how we made them feel.

  2. Pursuit of personal growth: Individuals who actively seek knowledge, develop their skills, and broaden their awareness demonstrate determination and effort. Others notice this drive and recognize the value it brings. By investing in our personal growth, we enhance our presence and create an environment where others feel inspired and motivated.

  3. Trustworthiness and responsibility: People naturally gravitate towards those they trust, respect, and perceive as reliable. Actions speak louder than words and reveal what lies at the core of a person's character. Building trust through consistent behavior fosters a presence that instills confidence and creates a sense of security in others.

  4. Interpersonal, psychological, social, and emotional skills: These softer skills form the heart of effective human interactions. A misstep in this area can have long-lasting consequences, while mastery can lead to success and fulfillment. Our presence in these moments shapes the emotional experience of others, leaving a lasting impression.

  5. Effective professional presentation and delivery skills: Communication is paramount to success. Even the best ideas can fail if communicated poorly. In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are often limited, every detail can make a difference depending on the audience and objective. How we deliver our messages with clarity, empathy, and understanding contributes to a presence that resonates and leaves others feeling heard and valued.

  6. Comfort with complexity and ambiguity: The ability to navigate complexity and ambiguity is crucial. Embracing these challenges can lead to solving significant problems and reaping substantial rewards. However, it's also important to know your limits and recognize when complexity and ambiguity become overwhelming. Striking the right balance contributes to a presence that exudes confidence and adaptability.

These six behavioral areas contribute to our presence to friends, family, colleagues, and leadership. Although none of us enjoy being judged, the reality is that we all judge others, and we can expect others to judge us based on our behaviors. By understanding the impact of our presence, we can strive to create an environment where others feel uplifted, respected, and inspired.


Take a moment to reflect on the presence of individuals you like or dislike and ask yourself why. Consider what you can work on from your own perspective to enhance your presence and foster meaningful connections.


Remember, embracing behavioral elements can have a profound impact on your career journey. By focusing on these aspects and continuously improving, you can navigate professional interactions with greater success and fulfillment. And in the end, it's not just about what you say or do, but about how you make others feel.


PS Complexity and ambiguity are constant companions.


They possess the power to bless and challenge us simultaneously. Embracing complexity and ambiguity becomes the key to unlocking that coveted lucrative deal or outsmarting competitors. This acceptance enables us to venture into unexplored territories, uncover groundbreaking solutions, and reap the abundant rewards accompanying them.


However, once the deal is won, a new chapter begins. The delivery team must shift gears and tackle the complexity and ambiguity head-on. They must work diligently to unravel the intricacies, streamline processes, and eliminate any ambiguity hindering progress. This is where precision and clarity become paramount.


Successfully managing complexity and ambiguity requires a delicate balance. It's about recognizing when to embrace the challenge and when to streamline and simplify. By mastering this delicate dance, we can navigate the intricacies of the business landscape with finesse, leaving a lasting impression of competence and achievement.

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