Be LATE. Be DISORGANIZED. Have a quick TEMPER. All damage your TRUSTWORTHINESS. Really?

A colleague shared this article from ForbesWoman. (Thanks V.B.) My initial reaction was: ‘REALLY?’ which moved to an ‘AHA!’ moment. (And then drifted to, “Is she sending me a message?”)   It’s not a revelation that being trustworthy is one trait that everyone needs to succeed.  What is eye-opening though are new studies that show that people won’t trust you if you have a “willpower” problem.  If you demonstrate a loss of self control – – being late, disorganized, having a temper outburst, overeating, overspending, smoking – –  you are building the perception that you are less trustworthy. And that, it is not only important to be trustworthy, but equally important that you are perceived to be trustworthy.   How do you build willpower and self-control?   Read on…

“You can be as honest, fair, and reliable as the day is long, but if nobody else sees you that way, it won’t help you.”

“When your boss doesn’t trust you, you don’t get key assignments, promotions, or the latitude to do things your own way and take risks…”

“…You may be seriously undermining that you are trustworthy if you appear to lack self-control.   New research shows that people just won’t trust you when you seem like you might have a willpower problem…We trust people because we know that when things get hard, or when it might be tempting for them to put their own interests first, they’ll resist temptation and do what’s right.”

“Studies show that when you engage in behaviors that are indicative of low self-control, your trustworthiness is diminished.  In other words, all those things you know you shouldn’t do – smoking, overeating, impulsive spending, being lazy, late, disorganized, excessively emotional, or having a quick temper – may be even worse for you than you ever realized, because of the collateral damage they are doing to your reputation.”

“Start by making peace with the fact that your willpower is limited.  If you’ve spent all your self-control handling stresses at work, you will not have much left at the end of the day for sticking to your resolutions.  Think about when you are most likely to feel drained and vulnerable, and make a plan to keep yourself out of harm’s way.  Decide, in advance, what you will do instead when the impulse strikes.”

“So if you want to build more willpower, start by picking an activity (or avoiding one) that fits with your life and your goals – anything that requires you to override an impulse or desire again and again, and add this activity to your daily routine.  It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier over time if you hang in there, because your capacity for self-control will grow.    Other people will notice the change, and trust you more.  Armed with more willpower and the trust of those around you, you’ll be more successful than ever before.”

(ForbesWoman: The Key Trait Successful People Have And How to Get It and “Self-Control” image:  Vincent@EG1471)

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