Whether you want more success in your career or in your personal relationships, a few bad habits might be holding you back. Marshall Goldsmith is a management consultant who works with many Fortune 500 CEOs. And he says bad “people” skills are what hold people back.

So here are some of the most common interpersonal mistakes he says people make:

  • First: Needing to be right ALL the time. Your coworker sends a package to a customer through regular mail, even though you told him sending it priority would be better. And as you predicted – the package doesn’t get to the customer in time. So, do you pull the “I told you so” maneuver, or keep your mouth shut? Goldsmith says - zip your lip. Your colleague knows he blew it. And your good relationship with him is more important than rubbing it in.

  • Mistake #2: Not listening. People tolerate all sorts of rudeness, but not paying attention to them is very disrespectful. It’s the skill that separates the successful people from the merely competent ones. So focus on what the person is saying and never interrupt.

  • Mistake #3: Making excuses. When you make a mistake, excuses rarely help. Let’s say you walk in to work late. You say, “I was on the phone with the cable company and they took FOREVER.” What you’re conveying to the other person is your insincerity. You’re saying, “I’ll apologize, but it’s not my fault.” You need to take responsibility for your behavior WITHOUT rationalizing – “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” Then STOP talking about it - and make sure it DOESN’T happen again.