Differentiate ourselves from others in our company is difficult, in the marketplace, even more. But why should we be different? Why should we look for alternative approaches to outperform?
This is exactly the reason executives are replaced and many companies change the leadership. There is situations that the company needs a different perspective, a different vision. Each of us, working in companies or even being an entrepreneur, have different visions, experiences, intelligence and culture. Years ago I’ve learned with somebody that a top executive is like a medicine, sometime you need to treat the head or you need something to treat your back and so on. Its interesting perspective and in fact, there is a kind of executive for each situation, like the medicines.
However, what I want to share today with you is more than be different, it’s about what to do to be constructive and contribute even more in your day-by-day.
We are talking here about some informal rules that I earned along my career. Actually, as you may know, we are always learning with others and this is the best way to move fast in terms of maturity.
Have you ever participated in a meeting where somebody arrives late and starts to give some justifications? It’s boring, right? Or started a discussion with somebody and in the meantime this person is looking for other things such a smartphone or the laptop, talking about a different subject?
Long time ago, I had a mentor that taught me the “Three Main Rules”: Not Justify, Listen with Empathy and Always Suggest.
Let’s understand a little bit more about each of them:
1. Listen with empathy
Every human being have two ears and one mouth. Is that a sign? Yes, it means that you must listen more than you speak. Beside the joke, this rule means that you don’t need just listen and speaks less. Means that if somebody is talking to you, give the appropriate attention, thinks about it, feel it and when it’s time give your feedback and contribution. This “little act” will bring more productivity in your conversations as well in your meetings and the other interlocutor will be more satisfied to talk to you, people will appreciate to engage you in discussions. Nowadays, everybody is too busy to wasting time with people that doesn’t care about the subject that you are speaking to. And moreover, our reality today is to use primarily emails and texts, less phone calls and it’s turning us to people without touch, without empathy and contributing more and more for less people care, so, let’s fight on it, let’s listen and care more about people around us.
2. Not justify
It’s bad when somebody give tons of justifications to you. Nobody likes it. Executives and clients wants more than a justification, they want solutions. How to do it? It’s not too simple. The first thing that you must have in your mind is assume your responsibilities and errors, calculate and take your risks. Doing that you eliminate your first opportunity to justify anything. Finally, think about how you can handle alternatively this situation and suggest a solution.
3. Always suggest
Now that you know how to avoid justifications you are ready to learn the third rule: Always Suggest. It’s the better way to give your perception, your point of view to somebody. Making suggestions or recommendations sounds much better than force or impose your point of view. Everybody is open to listen when you are not so imperative. For instance if you tell somebody: “I believe that the better way to fix our financial problems is cutting costs from delivery instead of sales”, sounds a little bit imperative, no? And perhaps this indeed is the right solution but the way that you are approaching the subject will not be well received and more important, perceived. I guarantee to you that if you say: “My suggestion is…” or “I would suggest that could be a solution to fix our financial problems…” isn’t better? I do believe so.
Most of people are ready to provide justifications, don’t care about other opinions, neither listen and always want to impose decisions or perspectives but what I’ve learned so far is that you can be perceived as a top notch professional if you listen better, create better connections to the context with less or no justifications and exercise a collaborative approach instead of an imperative. Ultimately, this will at least make the perception about you be different. Let’s exercise and be different.