Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Last week I was taking better care of myself and I’ve continued this week …I’ve had more sleep and played with the kids and generally been a bit more chilled. Obviously the sherry hasn’t been chilled, as that would just be wrong….
Amongst all this, I was reminded that the people you have in your gang make a big difference to you. Therefore, taking care of ourselves means being surrounded by good people. For example…
A) If you network with chums do you offer contacts and advice and receive some back? Or are they stuck on ‘receive’ and always fail to ‘send.’
B) If you want to secure more customers do you talk to people who hate selling, thereby justifying your own poor performance? Or do you talk to successful people, learn from them and work hard to emulate them?
C) And finally (because I like to keep business in perspective to home and hearth) do you wish for happiness and/or love and spend time with people who soak up yours, like greedy sponges? Or do you enjoy the company of people who offer it willingly and make life a warm and pleasant place to be?
I mention this because if we want to get on, instead of staying stuck, we need to think about all aspects of life sometimes and make sure we have the right people in our gang.
Here’s a story from my own archive: At secondary school I was bottom of the class and took comfort that my friends were as lazy as I was. Then one day I realised I was going nowhere and that time was slipping away. I changed friendship groups because my old friends just laughed when I suggested we might change our ways.
Suddenly I was catapulted to the top of the class, as I worked hard to keep up with my new friends and I enjoyed the change round and liked being successful. When I won the class prize (to the astonishment of my parents) my old friends didn’t bother to say ‘well done’ …they just didn’t care any more as I wasn’t ‘one of them.’
Life and business is the same really, and the people we have in our lives shape things for us and can keep us diminished, or can help us to grow.
Wherever you are in your modern career, take a moment to think about your gang. Who takes? Who gives? Who is holding you back? Who is smiling and encouraging you forwards?
I’ve got some brilliant people in my gang and they all helped me to go round the world recently, which was amazing.
So, pause this week and take a hard look at your gang. Who needs a ‘thank you’ hug? Who have you been putting up with for too long? What changes are you avoiding?
As ever – the choice, and your modern career, is yours.
In the headlong rush to make progress in the world it’s tempting to charge into ‘doing’ work, in order to look super-productive and be well thought of. However, this is to ignore a key element that we need to remember, if we are going to have a successful modern career – that’s is: People first, work second.
Until we make contact with people, we can’t effectively work with them.
This is because we need them to trust us, we need them to be honest with us and we need them to share issues and concerns with us. Otherwise the second we leave the room, the work we thought would happen starts to unravel, as their doubts creep in and they edge away from their promises.
Making contact requires us to realise that people really are important (not just to pretend either …you’ll be found out if you’re not sincere). I was with a client the other week who, at the end of the session, offered the following feedback:
‘I was dreading today Richard. I didn’t want to meet you for this [coaching] work. And yet …where did the time go? It was great fun. What was I worried about?’
This was great feedback, and I had sensed she was pushing me away, so I had spent half the time simply taking time for us to build an honest relationship. Whilst I can’t remember the exact conversation, here are 5 things I did to make a difference:
1) Listened to my senses …the client looked uncomfortable to begin with.
2) Reminded myself that getting to know someone is work! It underpins future success.
3) Noticed areas of commonality. It turned out that we shared some similarities in our life. Funny that!
4) Allowed the conversation to unfold. As it did so the client unfolded her arms.
5) Had fun. The room had a drinks trolley in it left over from a Christmas party. I wondered aloud if we should taste some of the wine, just to make sure it was still drinkable. Haha! Fun is fun and a smile is a great way to make contact.
Think about your work this week and which people you need to spend time with as part of your successful week? Who needs a bit of your time?
Remember: People is work too innit!
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish