Frozen Career: People Skills Choices That Stop You

Are you in a frozen career moment? Wondering what to do?

People skills are often overlooked, but your impact on people matters. It could be the difference between a frozen career and moving forwards.  

by Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™


As you think it through, ask yourselves:

What do decision makers and teammates think of me?

Amid so much advice today to be yourself, it’s easy to think you don’t need to consider anyone else. Not true! The truth is:

How you come across to others impacts your career and business success.

Would people use the words cold or no heart to describe you?

Frozen career

Frozen Career: People Skills Choices Checklist

Do you freeze others by …

  • Giving little digs and calling it humour?
  • Going silent and giving no response when people raise issues that matter to them?
  • Being idle when you witness abuse of others?
  • Standing back and criticizing either actively or passively?
  • Patronizing people and calling it true concern for them ?
  • Having sarcastic plaques, mugs, etc… in your office?
  • Taking advantage of your power when around younger, less powerful folks?
  • Laughing at jokes that demean certain groups?
  • Taking credit for others work?
  • Focus constantly on yourself; your needs, hopes, and dreams?

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Are you subconsciously living the philosophy …

  • Nice people finish last? Not true. You can be successful while treating others well.
  • Look out (only) for number one! False. You get nowhere when you come across as selfish.
  • As long as it’s authentic, it’s OK to be rude and dismissive of others? Wrong. These choices will freeze your career from its true potential. People remember how you make them feel.
  • Great team players never become leaders? Another myth. High performance teams are full of teammate leaders. Some choose to seek official leadership positions, others don’t. It’s a choice.
  • Showing empathy makes you look weak? Untrue. How can you lead without empathy? What is teamwork without empathy? Empathy connects you in the most authentic way with others. No matter what your position or aspiration, the warmth of empathy with others generates momentum.

Picture some people you know that come across as cold. If they are your teammates, would you want them as your leaders? If they are your leaders, are their people skills choices on the lists above? Which of their choices do you want them to change? Now ask yourself how do others see you?

The simple yet powerful truth is …

People often interpret your behavior as a reflection of what you think of them.
If your behavior tells them: “You don’t matter” or “You matter less that I do” they will freeze you out. You end up with a frozen career because of your people skills choices.

As the old saying goes, don’t less this happen to you!

  • Engage with others. Don’t stand on the sidelines.
  • Share your talents and welcome others’.
  • Give sincere compliments about people’s contributions.
  • Rid your desk and office of negative sarcastic signs, plaques, mugs etc…
  • Show empathy. It doesn’t mean you agree. It says “you matter.”
  • Take ownership of your mistakes. Apologize unconditionally when you hurt others.
  • Learn, change, grow and above all show respect for everyone.

How are you perceived at work? Improve your self-awareness with our Leadership Assessment.


©2017 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ delivers workshops (in person and online), keynotes, coaching, consulting for superior customer service, teamwork, employee engagement, and leading change. Now in her 26th year in business, Kate energizes everyone with inspiration AND practical takeaways.
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