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Self-Handicapping at Work


Self-handicapping involves engaging in behaviors that sabotage your chances of success. Although we all want to feel good, sometimes we preffer to avoid taking responsibilities for our activity. The phenomenon was first described by researchers Stephen Berglas and Edward Jones in 1978.
Do you remember when you were a student and you had to prepare for an exam? Do you remember that sometimes that was the most proper moment to start.... cleaning your room, instead of studying? Then, of course, it was the other¢s fault for your poor result J.
When you find an outside source to blame for possible failures, it can be an effective strategy for protecting your self-esteem. But this has a significantly negative impact on success. It can lead to lower motivation and less incentive to try to succeed in the future.

To avoid this at work, ask yourself: “How am I growing professionally right now?” If you feel that is complicated to answer on this, then you can try to identify these behaviors:
  • Avoiding Accountability
  • Lacking Self-Awareness
  • Having Tunnel Vision
  • Lacking Engagement
  • Poor Analysis and Decision Making
  • Poor Communication
  • Poor Talent Development
  • Micromanaging
  • Not Driving for Results

This list is made by Phillip Decker and Jordan Mitchell. The good news is that inside the book Self-Handicapping Leadership , they guide on how to overcome them.


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