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Five Mistakes Smart People Make

August 12, 2017

Smart people make serious workplace mistakes that can have lasting implications on their career. Here are five common mistakes the smartest people make at work and which can prevent them from actualising their true potential.

  1. Impatience. Smart people tend to have unrealistic expectations of others. They fail to realise that their subordinates may take longer to do a task than them. As a result, they may push people too hard and end up becoming impatient with people who do not meet their expectations. This behaviour is counterproductive and it is best to always keep in mind your subordinates' capabilities when assigning and evaluating tasks.
  2. Lack of persistence. Smart people sometimes give up on a task if they cannot get it right the first time. They are so used to the sweet taste of succeeding the first time that they are unable to cope with failure. Remember, even Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before inventing the light bulb. The key is persistence and resilience.
  3. Overconfidence. The drawback of getting high grades in college is that smart people sometimes end up developing massive egos. They tend to believe that if they were always right in school, then they will always be right at work and often assume they are experts in domains they know nothing about. As a result, this overconfidence causes them to make careless (and sometimes costly) mistakes at work.
  4. Never admit mistakes. A smart person who has not made mistakes does not have the ability to own up to a mistake. Admitting your mistake and apologising is a good trait, which smart people sometimes do not develop due to lack of practice.
  5. Taking feedback badly. Smart people often ignore feedback as they may consider themselves to be superior to the people giving the feedback. They may even react negatively as this offends their inflated sense of self-worth. As a result, their relationship with colleagues suffer and may become toxic.
- Arshia Wasif Ahmed
The writer is a corporate trainer.

This article was originally published in Dawn Newspaper (Pakistan)

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