Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smart People Need To Fail

In the book "When Smart People Fail" author Carol Hyatt offers advice on how to deal with career setbacks.
In her view, one word describes what you must do when you fail at a task or lose your job. DECIDE.

You must decide to pull yourself free from the morass of blaming others.This will start you on the path that will allow you to deal with failure, which often results because of a lack of people skills.
As a first step :

# Look for a pattern.
It's natural to blame someone else when you fail but most failure follows a pattern. For example there was the man that was fired 22 times. Each time he blamed others.His boss was too young, too old or woman.But the real reason for his failure - the pattern - he couldn't accept criticism. "Once you see the pattern," says Hyatt, "You can act to correct it if you want to get out of the failure rut."

# Pick the right spot.
Many smart people fail because they're the proverbial square peg in the round hole. Sensitive people who care more about people than the bottom line do not fit many corporate environments. Their values clash with the firm's and that boosts the chance of failure.
According to Hyatt, "That person would fare better with a group that shares the same values, such as a non-profit service organization.

# Don't label yourself.
Hyatt describes two network producers fired at the same time :
"One saw himself only as a producer. When he couldn't find a similiar job, he stayed stuck in failure.
"The second dissected his title and said, 'I can write, research and put people together.' By looking at each skill, he realized he could succeed at other jobs such as an agent or headhunter."

# Develop your social I.O.
Most smart people fail because of poor interpersonal skills.
"Smart people fail because the lack sensitivity.They don't know how to listen. They have a low social IQ", says Hyatt.
"Mediocre people keep their jobs because they have a high social IQ. The smart people who fail admit they don't have the patience to listen.
Her advice is to develop your social IQ - your people skills. Learn to listen and react to the subtext of what people say.
The better your interpersonal skills, the less chance you will fail.

1 comment:

Mohamed Taher said...

We have a survey on job search in Canada, as part of a book to be completed on 'what works and what doesn't work'--Details will appear at We have two set of questions in this survey.
First is for the new immigrants, to share their own experience. The link is here:
Second set of questions is meant for agencies, experts and professionals who are responsible to guide the new Canadians. This link is here:
Feel free to post a link from your blog or to forward it to all the concerned in your mailing list.
Any help will be highly appreciated.