Unexpected detours are inevitable in the business world: new management, new initiatives, and new competition. So how do you handle the frequent direction changes of the workplace? I’m not talking about your ability to update goals and strategies. Think beyond that. How do you adjust your natural approach to managing, leading and interacting with your co-workers to maximize success in a new environment?
The people who recognize the importance of change on this level have careers that race ahead. Those who don’t recognize it can get stuck behind a hidden roadblock that unknowingly sabotages their careers. They struggle to understand what is holding them back because they simply don’t see the problem.
After coaching many clients who have this “professional blind spot”—what I call Frozen Compass syndrome—I’ve learned that it often impacts people who have been relatively successful using their innate styles of communicating and collaborating with others. Whether they are direct and straightforward or laid-back and low-key, they have always leveraged their own natural tendencies to get positive results.
Then the old formula suddenly stops working. New challenges call for a different approach, but they just can’t seem to step out of their behavioral comfort zones. On the “directness meter,” highly assertive people might need to dial it back while the more soft-spoken ones could benefit from cranking it up a notch. Without making some adjustments, these people will be perceived as less effective. And that will make them less successful.