Career Stallers

Kevin Conroy's Management ClinicUnconscious assumptions are to blame for stalling careers.

Less than 8% of New Year resolutions are kept. Only half last to the end of January. Even when it’s about going for a job promotion or personal development to enhance our own life, we procrastinate. What is the source that stops us following through on what we want to do?

Top of the list are self-protective, unconscious Competing Commitments or Big Assumptions. For instance, giving up smoking may be more about losing valued social interactions during smoke breaks than about habit or addiction.

You may have complaints about your work. Did you know that every complaint implies a commitment? For example a boss complained that “My team members don’t speak up at meetings”. This implies that he believes in open and candid interactions. And yet he regularly “shot the messenger.” His unrecognised Big Assumptions around why he behaved like that, pervaded his managing practice, limiting his and his team’s effectiveness.

There are 19 identifiable career stallers, categorised as “trouble with people” or “trouble with results” that we can help you uncover. Then comes the hard part, where you put a new Big Assumption in place, make modest tests in a safe environment of a new approach, and then consciously practice until your emotions catch up with your new rational insight.

My experience in coaching such personal transitions & transformations has found they can deeply affect the work environment. I help managers start public interactions that create a context supportive of high performance. I support the inner conversations a manager must have to re-generate those automatic Big Assumptions.