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Four Ways to Tell if You’re a Broken Record

Angie Morgan, July 15, 2019


Are You a Broken Record?

For those of you who didn’t have records growing up (and, yes, there are many of you!), a broken record is a record that repeats itself over, and over, and over again.  It never leaps to its next track, rendering that record … well … broken.

Using this image metaphorically, a broken record in the workforce is a person who repeats the same behaviors over, and over, and over again.  Now, that person isn’t broken, per se.  Rather, their tactics aren’t as effective as they once were and they are just stuck in an old, comfortable groove that worked well a long time ago, but isn’t as effective now.

Here are four signs that you might just be a broken record:

  1. You fail to adapt to new technology
  2. You don’t apply new learning or knowledge
  3. You don’t seek out new training to advance your craft
  4. You approach people and problems with the same approach you used to decades ago … and you get the same, frustrating results

Unlike a broken record, you don’t have to wait for someone to swoop in and solve your problems.  You can get yourself “unstuck.”  Here are some ideas how:

  • Pay attention to what frustrates you at work – is it a process, is it technology?  Seek to understand the source of your frustration so you can understand what’s really bothering you – it might not be the “thing” that you’re annoyed with.  It could be that what you’re attempting to learn is taking some time to adjust to, which is completely normal.  When you find the source, you’re closer to discovering the actions you need to take to address the situation.
  • Listen to what you talk about.  If you find yourself repeating yourself, or if you’re still complaining about the same things you’ve always complained about, then maybe you haven’t found closure or acceptance with the situation.  Develop your language so that you’re advancing your story and not getting stuck in an old, worn-out narrative.
  • Ask for feedback.  Share with people that you’re seeking to grow and develop and inquire with them ideas on the skills you need to develop in order to advance your career.  No one wants to repeat the same week, month, or year twice.  Feedback, when delivered with tact and accepted with appreciation, allows you to recognize areas where you can advance.

I think we all know what it feels like to be stuck.  While that comfort can be comfortable, it’s a dangerous place to stay too long.  As leaders, we want to grow and develop.  Check in with yourself on a routine basis to ensure your skills are relevant, your leadership is impactful, and that you’re moving closer and closer to your vision.

Have a great week ahead!

My best, Angie

Share: | Tags: Goal Setting, Growth Mindset, Leadership Behaviors