I read “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” about a month ago and it really struck a chord for me. The book is pretty straight forward. Marshall Goldsmith, the author, walks through 20 bad habits that someone might have and says most people will have 5 – 8. The idea is to identify your bad habits you have and change! Of course the change is the hard part and you have to want to change.
Marshall Goldsmith does a good job explaining why a person should change and that it is possible. He takes it to the next level and says not only is it possible to change but if you do not it will hold you back if it is not already.
I identified my bad habits and set out to change the first one that I thought was the worst – listening. The book explains that everyone has the ability to listen – when they are in an important interview or meeting for example. The challenge is staying engaged like you are in an important meeting all the time. Bill Clinton was a master at this as are many politicians.
Marshall Goldsmith gives the reader different tactics to become a better listener. One technique to change that I liked was to ask friends, relatives and even strangers you are sitting next to on a flight this question: “What two things can I do in the future to be a better listener?” Of course, you would insert your bad habit in for the last two words. Then for the people challenged with listening like me, you are only permitted to say thank you and not argue or disagree. Marshall Goldsmith describes this technique as feed forward as opposed to feed back and it is less critical and therefore more acceptable. I have done this now several times and it is not too painful. The idea of asking a stranger seemed odd to me at first but the stranger of course has nothing to gain or lose so they may give insightful information – I look forward to testing this out when the opportunity arrives.
The book is very short, to the point and for me, needed. I suppose there are those who have no personality bad habits or they are so minor, there is no need for change. If this is the case for you, no need to read the book! However, if you are like me and most people, I think the book is a great easy read and will help you change. Although, after one month, I am struggling to change! 🙂