A Kryptonite habit is an unhelpful habit which actually masks your strengths. It’s named after the famous fictional substance Kryptonite, which was able to completely nullify Superman’s super powers.
One common Kryptonite habit I encounter frequently is the habit of landing without skill. Think of the last time you triumphantly made a devastating and uncomfortable, yet excellent point in your staff meeting and to your dismay, people became upset, cranky, and unresponsive. Often, this result is not because your point is wrong, but the way you addressed the issue was blunt and unhelpful. As a pilot, landing a plane in one piece is good. Avoiding a cabin full of frightened passengers suffering from nausea is better.
Not long ago, I was hired by a CEO to help one of his direct reports who made the numbers but somehow was not liked by his peers. While observing his behavior, it became apparent he possessed a keen talent to quickly understand an issue. Yet, addressing the issue in a subtle way was much more difficult for him. His style was confrontational, hammering on clarity and backing others in a corner. This habit made him completely ineffective as a persuader: People don’t like to lose face.
If you notice that you often make people uncomfortable, the issue may be your unconscious habit of landing without skill. Simply stop it: You will be amazed by how much more effective you will be.
PS: You can read more about Kryptonite habits in my new book: “How successful engineers become great business leaders.”
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