…are the ones we don’t know we have. The good ones–drinking water throughout the day, taking the stairs, assuming others’ good intent—enliven and nourish our days. The not-so-good ones—slouching, mindless snacking, cynicism—erode our relationships and health.
We all have both kinds of sneaky habits. We need them–having routines and default modes is an important way that we reserve energy and focus for our most important work. But the sneaky not-so-good habits can get in the way of our work, keeping others from receiving our message fully.
One of the most powerful tools we use in our communication skills coaching is video. We record a client giving a presentation (or whatever she’s working on), and we watch it back together. This is where we really see the sneaky habits—the gestures that distract, the eyes that flit away, the words that rob the speaker of her power. Until the sneaky habits are unmasked, they can’t be addressed.
What mirrors can you hold up to spot your sneaky habits?