You're Paying Too Much Attention in Those Leadership Seminars

That life-changing leadership seminar you took might actually be undermining your authority at the office. Laurie Ruettimann, an independent human resources consultant, said that women often focus on one or two ideas from seminars, forgetting the rest. "There are all these rules about where to sit at the table, where to be positioned, how you want to look at people, how to hold your body," she says. While a power pose can be useful when you're getting ready for a presentation, it'll be less appropriate when you and a colleague are working one-on-one.

Your Phone Isn't Out in Meetings

We all know that we shouldn't be playing Candy Crush Saga while the boss is talking, but devices do sometimes have a place in the conference room. Is there a stat that would be helpful to reference? Look it up, says Deborah Keary, vice president of human resources at the Society for Human Resource Management, but announce yourself. "Put [your phone] on the table and say, 'Oh, I think I can find that information, just a second.'"

You're Too Helpful

If you're the one always eager to go the extra mile, it might be time to make sure all those extra steps add up. Often, when we volunteer to pick up slack, we leave slack ourselves. If you're not making an ongoing list that you stick to rigidly, you might not be quite as helpful as you think you are. "It happens so fast at work sometimes, you're in five meetings back to back to back, and sometimes you get to the end of the last one and you can't remember what you said you'd do at the first one," Keary says. "You become somebody that [others] can't rely on, somebody who's not really promotable—not doing what they said they would."


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