Ideally, smart and successful go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t always work that way. There are several ways smart people can hurt their chances to succeed and move up the ladder, but there also are ways to overcome the barriers they create for themselves.
- Smart people sometimes devalue soft skills like relationship building. To address this, use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. Identify the behaviors and skills you need to sharpen and seek learning opportunities that work best for you (e.g., online courses, workshops, personal coaching, or books and articles).
- Teamwork can be challenging for very smart people. Open your mind to others’ ability to contribute and learn to appreciate what diverse minds and ideas bring to a team. Avoid knee-jerk reactions and the habit of quickly dismissing others’ ideas or contributions.
- Smart people may get much self-esteem from being smart and can decrease their resilience. Develop relationships with people you trust and respect and seek constructive feedback from them.
- Smart people get bored easily. Take time to feed your love of learning across various domains of your life, including work, hobbies, health, and fitness.