Some people are lucky enough to have the kinds of personalities and communication skills that inspire, motivate, and support those around them. Maintaining great relationships in your work or home life is both a science and an art. And we can all work to improve these personal traits in ourselves and those around us.

Let's look at a few of the negative habits that can sabotage our professional and personal development …

Claiming credit that we don't deserve – Sometimes it's all too easy to see your own contribution in every success – even if there’s none there.  Think carefully about just what you've actually provided and what others have done to avoid overestimating your value to the equation.  If you think you're the most important person in every group, think again.

Failing to acknowledge the contributions of others – This is the other half of the previous trait – an inability praise and reward others where it’s due.  Focusing on your own contributions while ignoring what others have done is a great way to ruin your team’s loyalty and enthusiasm.

Failing to express gratitude – Another symptom of a narcissistic and damaging personality.  Everyone gets to where they are with help – we’re nothing without our families, friends and colleagues. In many situations simply acknowledging others when they help you is not enough. You need to make it clear that you’re grateful for their help. Failing to do so will make them less likely to help you in the future.

Withholding information – This is an easily-spotted method to gain an advantage over those around us.  Withholding important information, when discovered, suggests to others that you want control over them or that you don’t trust them.  You hide information to gain power – sometimes at their expense. Ask yourself - “If I were them, how would I feel about that?”

An excessive need to ‘be me' – This is a bit more complex, and shows itself as a tendency to describe our personal faults as somehow virtues – just part of what makes us unique.  This creates a distorted perception of our personal relationships and allows us to rationalize and ignore our own flaws.  We make excuses for our bad behaviour because we think “they're just who I am.”

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