Let your actions speak louder than the words. And use simple words and dont use any fancy vocabulary!
Invest in building relationships on both your personal and professional fronts as you do not exist in a vacuum
30 things to do before you turn 30, 20 places to see, 10 things every dad with a daughter must know etc…the list is endless. With the New Year round the corner, we will be deluged with resolutions, how to keep them, break them… so I decided we will do something different! After all, this is the Different Strokes column!
Let us become the Buzz of the Year by doing all the right things in 2015 like the three things that will make you the buzz of the career circuit or the champ racing through the corridors of power.
So rather than read the buzz, here is my take on how you can be the buzz-ing- bee!
I am sure you are reading this and rolling your eyeballs and saying “Here we go again! Another article on how communication is critical, do this, don’t do this etc. to communicate effectively.” Just hold your horses and give me a chance to get into the details. I am proposing that you adapt a slightly different approach this time around. Here are a few examples:
Take a deep breath (politely saying shut up for a few seconds here): Give the other person a chance to speak please!
Remember the time when you were young and angry, your mom would tell you to count slowly till 10 and take a deep breath and then speak? Well, she was preparing you for life ahead as well. Practice listening this way. Listening does not come easily to many like talking does.
Talk less, do more: For starters, let your actions speak louder than words. And when you choose to use words, I’m sure you will agree that not everyone is on the same page as far as vocabulary is concerned. So how about trying to focus on the message using simple words and stop showing off your fancy, ambiguous vocabulary!
Different strokes for different folks: Let’s go beyond emails and try other ways of communicating to the people who matter.
Social media: It is a great platform to build a brand. While communicating externally, maybe you would want to stop shoving business cards in everyone’s face and instead let the social space do the talking. Ensure you keep an updated profile on LinkedIn, post regular updates on your network such as twitter, engage with thought leaders in the industry to learn and be inspired. Join groups, share articles related to your field, comment on posts related to your professional areas of interest.
Take it on: “Tell me what you want me to do and I might forget it, but do it in front of me and I will never forget it.” – Ever heard of this saying? Well now that you have time to put it into practice, how about going out there and being there where decisions are taken, taking an assignment that matters, making that presentation to the senior management and throwing yourself out there!
And while you do communicate here is a request, please avoid unnecessary repetition… don’t be a broken tape recorder for crying out loud!
And hey, while you are at looking at communicating differently, start by taking time out to send out a few New Year wishes or a happy holiday’s message
Curiosity skilled the cat: So you learnt curiosity killed the cat, but that was eons ago. Now your version that you will pass onto the next generation will be curiosity skilled the cat. Yep, this is no typo, you’re reading it right. Curiosity did not kill the cat, it skilled the cat.
Release your inner child: Eleanor Roosevelt said “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” Somewhere in our journey to being adults, we learn to do the opposite. Time to change things around and there is no better time to start than close to a New Year.
Ask yourself what are the three things I am going to be curious about? Maybe you could pick a few things in common with your spouse or child too?
Jumpstart your day: Ask yourself what makes me come alive? Discovering a passion that fuels that inner fire is often easier said than done, which is all the more reason for you to take the time to ask yourself this question. Once you discover your passion, use it to kick start your day! For the CEO of Starbucks running at 4:30am helps her kick start her day, what is it that makes you jumpstart your day? Whatever it is —be it yoga, some quiet time, meditation, play time with your daughter—include that into your schedule every day! For me, it is personally a good session of yoga followed by some quiet time over breakfast with my wife and son.
How do I want to be remembered? Mark Twain said and I quote “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
There is no room for regret so time for you to build your brand consciously by dreaming, exploring, discovering facets about you that you didn’t know existed. Curiosity will lead you down the roads you would have not normally travelled. Ever heard the saying stay curious and stay sane? In the fast paced world we live in, being curious is no longer an option—it is a necessity! Constantly ask questions if you want to be on the path of continual learning, growth and success.
Recharge not just your mobile device but yourself as well: As you build new relationships with team members, socially etc also make it a point to invest in rebuilding the old ones and the ones that currently exist. Call this a RR-Relationship Refresh of sorts.
Invest in building relationships as you do not exist in a vacuum, so invest your time and energy well in building mutually beneficial relationships both on the personal and professional front. Relationships that are genuine, built on trust, respect, honesty!
How can you do that? Here are some ways that can be easily achieved:
Step in: How about stepping in to help before you are asked? Most people help when asked anyway, but very few volunteer to help before.
Let ‘Just like that’ be the only reason: Here is another way of adding a little bit of zing into relationships you value: Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone you know not because you’re expected to but simply because you can. Don’t send flowers only on birthdays or for New Year’s, how about sending them flowers on a ‘just like that’ day?
Refresh: Recreate that first date with your wife, do something with team members together as you have never done before—for instance for team engagement paint a house for the poor together or participate in a marathon to raise funds.
Go out there and have fun, most importantly, stay happy and enjoy yourself as you build a successful career one step at a time! Here is wishing you all a very happy 2015!