Being flaky is worse than being incompetent. How flaky are you?
There’s a difference between being incompetent and flaky. Incompetent is just that – you’re unskilled and ineffective. There isn’t a lot there to mistake or overestimate. On the other hand, being flaky is the epitome of inconsistency, underperformance and self-centeredness.
While most people can be flaky from time to time, if there is a habit of flakiness then chances are, you have a problem. Answer the following questions to see how flaky you are.
Do you change your mind often? Second thoughts aside, how often do you go back and forth between yes and no? If you are wishy washy and change your mind often, people are less likely to take you seriously. They are also less likely to care what you think. This can make it very awkward for you to establish credibility or even develop personal and professional networks.
Do you clown around too much? Humor is a great tool to break the ice or even lighten up a tense moment. Too much humor can have a harmful effect and make it difficult to have quality time and discussion.
Are you too serious? While erring on the side of too much humor can be harmful, so can being too serious. A lack of balance can lead to people avoiding you and you feeling left out. A normal response to feeling left out is to try and be less serious but because chances are you will be forcing it, you are more likely to change your mind at the last minute or in mid-stream. Doing this makes you look wishy washy.
Are you opportunistic? Do you engage others when you want/need something and then go AWOL when you don’t? This is a common transgression that many aspiring professionals make. While you may think that this makes you look like a go-getter, it actually makes you look like a user. For most people, users are considered to be the ultimate flake and avoided when possible.
Do you take responsibility? No one wants to get the pointed finger but if you did it, own it! Nothing says BIG FLAKE than being a coat-tail rider when times are good but a ghost in the wind when things are bad.
Do you keep your promises? “I’ll call you tomorrow. I will get this to you next week. I know this is last minute, but let’s reschedule.” Sound familiar? The worst thing you can do is fall through on your own commitments or break your word. When you do not keep your word, you have effectively wasted someone’s time and resources; and trust me, those transgressions are not soon forgotten. Your reputation is more important than their credit score. Failure to keep your word makes you flakier than a head of dandruff – YUCK!
So, how did you do?!
If you have at least one ‘yes’ then you are probably a typical flake and should work on getting better while you can (it goes downhill from here). If you said ‘yes’ to at least two things, then look out – there is a habit forming! If you said yes to three or more questions, then it’s time to do some personal development. Look for a seasoned coach or therapist (seriously) and begin to work on becoming a less flakier you!