A derailer can be defined as a pattern of behavior that moves a person off course or gets in the way of progress. Attitudes can become derailers when they influence our behavior. Derailers sabotage relationships, diminish our effectiveness, and undermine our influence.
It can be helpful to think about two categories of derailers, universal and unique. Universal derailers are character issues to which everyone is vulnerable. Unique derailers bring a special vulnerability because they are associated with the basement side of your identity profile, the combination of personality, strengths, skills, personal values, and passions.
The basement side of your identity profile is a “hidden” link between unique and universal derailers. The ways you are tempted to abuse power, a universal derailer, will be shaped by your personality and strengths, key elements of your identity profile. You can’t fully understand your unique derailers and how they will influence the way universal derailers express themselves in your life until you fully understand your identity profile.
You might think you don’t have derailers but the people around you know better. An HBR article reported survey results showing 80% of respondents said they observed significant behavioral weaknesses in their boss that they talk about with peers but not with their boss.
The question we should be asking isn’t, “Do I have derailers?” but rather, “What are they, and when or where are they most likely to surface?” In this month’s vlog I’ll share a 3-step process for disrupting your derailers, including a FREE Worksheet to help you apply it.