5 Tips to limit over-correcting throughout a behavior change

Have you ever realized you needed to change your behavior to be more effective but over-corrected?
  • …Like learning to drive, and turning the wheel to fast or hitting the brake too hard and then doing the complete opposite?
 A titled leader I know has a great gift for detail.  
  • He makes a plan, works his plan, dots i’s crosses, t’s, and always delivers before the deadline.
  • If you have a question about a project, he’s researched it, and has a file full of information that can help you.

The challenge is that he is not an attention seeker and he doesn’t fight for the spotlight.

  • His nature is to speak up when it seems appropriate, but if you don’t listen – you miss his wisdom, and he will react a bit like a turtle and pull his head inside his shell.
  •  For years he quietly added significant value to the organization he worked in.
  • But most of that value was hidden below the surface far deeper and wider than what could be seen at a glance.

So when a layoff eventually happened…

  • The decision makers did not recognize the depth of his contributions and he was released.Growing means you don't have all the answers
As he searched for learning’s in that experience…
  • He began to realize how critical it was to speak up.Risk Must Be Taken

And just like learning to drive – he overcorrected.

  • Sometimes with volume, sometimes with data, sometimes hammering so hard on an issue that it drove people away.
He is human.
  • He’s working to grow beyond his comfort zone.
  • And he’s become more and more effective at it.

 When you make a drastic change to your behavior:

  1. Don’t do it out of fear.
  2. Don’t do it without explanation.
Balance courage with vulnerability and enlist the support of your boss, your peers, a coach, your spouse:
  1. Hold tightly to the vision of what you are trying to achieve and how it will change your life.
  2. Remind yourself of who you are and the value of what you bring.
  3. Be open about what you are trying to learn.
  4. Remember that over-correction is a normal part of learning and give yourself grace.
  5. Don’t give up.
Please share:  Have you ever attempted to change your behavior and over-corrected?  What did you learn?

If want more help learning to speak up, check out the links below:


Image credits: Ace Concierge



President, Giana Consulting

Chery believes that:
• Anyone can be a leader.
• Everyone knows something that the rest of us don’t.
• We all need to leave our workplaces, communities, nation and world – better than we found them.

Those beliefs caused her to instigate change from every position she ever had and continually provided opportunities to lead system-wide change from the middle and the edge of organizations.

Her faith and my firm belief that leaders need to walk their talk were the reasons she agreed to move to a part of the world that she once feared. As an expat she embraced daily opportunities to meet and learn from people that represent the nations in our world.

Today Chery is The Founder of Giana Consulting, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

She leverages true leadership stories and expat experiences to inform, inspire and emphasize life skills that cause her clients to be more energized and productive.

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4 thoughts on “5 Tips to limit over-correcting throughout a behavior change

  1. Great story. While I can’t think of a time I over corrected, I’m going to share this with some people I know who need to speak up now – before it’s too late. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to do great work. We all need to find the balance between what we produce and tooting our own horn. It’s definitely not an easy one. I can see how, particularly after layoff, with no desire to have it ever happen again, over-correction resulted.

    Will share!!

    ~ Alli

    • Awesome! Those are the very people this was written for! Thank you Alli!

      The post linked at the bottom of this one titled “Leading Your New Boss and Your Old One” – offers some specific ideas for people that are learning to speak up.

  2. You bring up a great point…many people over-correct in trying to change their behavior—all because they really are trying to change! But I suspect that comes from the fact that they lack a certain amount of self-awareness. Once they become more comfortable with who they really are as a leader, they will let that inner wisdom be their guide as they move forward…