Too Much of a Good Thing

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Everyone has good traits; just don’t let them go bad.

Robert Half International is the world’s largest staffing and consulting services company. Recently it discussed with careerbuilder.com the type of traits companies look for in potential employees. And why those traits, no matter how good they may be can sometimes work against you.

For example being known around the office as a nice person can be a good thing; unless you become a pushover. This will lead to people taking advantage of you or directing unwanted assignments in your direction. Or maybe you’re someone who’s in the know. The first person co-workers come to with a question. Another good trait unless what you know is just nine to five gossip and the information you’re known to spread is rumors.

Robert Half International says positive attributes are always a tool for success but like everything should be used in moderation; and you need to know when and where to apply them. For more examples of traits you should keep under control keep reading. I guess there really can be too much of a good thing.

From Robert Half International
Careerbuilder.com

Attention to detail
When it comes to ensuring top-notch work, you're the champion. But getting so caught up in confirming that every "t" is crossed and "i" is dotted could be hurting, not helping, your co-workers. For example, if you continually obsess over every minute detail before sending something out the door, you may be putting deadlines at risk. Likewise, if you're constantly double-checking their figures and reports, your colleagues may assume you don't trust them to produce quality work.

There's no doubt that producing error-free work is crucial to your company's reputation and to your own. But your level of scrutiny should be based on how important each assignment is to the business. For example, it makes much more sense spending more time carefully editing a client presentation than a draft report to a co-worker in another department.

Self-confidence
You enjoy your job and take pride in being good at what you do. That doesn't mean your ideas and approaches are always right. In fact, insisting that they are is not only presumptuous but also rude to colleagues who also have valuable input.

Another potential pitfall: Self-confidence can lead to overconfidence. Take care not to bite off more than you can chew just because you're convinced you can handle anything and everything that comes your way. That's a quick path to disaster.

Enthusiasm
Work motivates you. Nothing is more satisfying than completing a project and clearing your desk so you can take on the next challenge.

But an upbeat attitude can backfire if you sugarcoat problems or make promises you can't keep ("Sure, we can deliver twice as much in half the time!"). An overly positive attitude isn't always realistic, particularly if you don't give yourself the chance to vent frustration or disappointment when faced with significant setbacks.

If you lose a major client or are passed over for a promotion, take time to acknowledge the loss, and then use that reflection period to develop a plan for moving forward. Just be sure you don't dwell on a setback or respond in an unprofessional way.

Level-headedness
Multiple deadlines? Heavy workloads? Demanding clients? "No problem!" you say. "Bring it on!" While you may indeed have a higher-than-average tolerance for stress, everyone has his or her limits.

Even if people look to you to be their port in the storm -- and you relish that role -- there's nothing wrong with raising a warning flag in rough seas. Doing so will do four important things: ensure that deadlines are met, work quality doesn't slip, co-workers and clients aren't let down, and you don't suffer a massive case of burnout.

Joviality
You love to make people laugh -- in fact, levity should be your middle name. When things get stressful at the office, you know just what to say to ease the tension.

Although humor plays an important role in employee morale, timing is everything. Know when a situation calls for a serious demeanor, no matter how tempted you are to break the ice with a joke. And take care not to offend co-workers you're trying to amuse. Everyone is different -- and so are their senses of humor. Remember, it's much better to be viewed as a quick wit than a clown.