There is always a smarter way.
You just have to come to grips that it’s not going to be your idea at the centre of it. The number one thing that holds most organizations back is ego, the attitude at the top, leadership believing they are the smartest in the room. When you finally realize that the people connected around you are much, MUCH smarter at solving problems, finishing projects, and finding new solutions, that’s when you can start actually running your business. The trick is to assume your connected team is smarter than any individual on the team, then start getting ideas from everyone.
Yes I mean everyone.
We communicate to quickly for mob rule not to work. You can’t tell people how to feel, just like you can’t tell them to work. You can only inspire them with a challenge and put the best people you can find around them. If your employees don’t like you, all the policy in the world isn’t going to help, you can’t force people to feel different, you can only treat them different.
Even when you have the best plan in mind, after you’ve tested it in your head a hundred times, you know the weak points and you’ve mitigated them perfectly. It’ll still fail. The greatest plans in the world are always foiled by chance and rare occurrences.
From the book The Improbability Principle, incredibly rare impossible situations occur all the time. It’s your job to plan for them.
So how do you prepare for the unexpected? How do you make sure all your bases are covered?
Counterintuitively it’s not the man with the best plan that will come out on top, it’s the women with the most flexible plan that will come out the victor.
1. Learn to be a better listener.
We all must learn to be a better listener, no one is born a great listener, people learn how to just like we learn how to play sports, with practice.
So how can you actively practice listening? Ask for feedback. Even if you completely disagree with the feedback you don’t have to let the other person know. Bite your tounge and listen.
2. Put yourself in situations that will force you to be a better team player.
Join a team, a board, a group, a cult (ok probably not a cult), an organization, join something that will force you to work as a team. As we get older our vision gets very tainted with experience. Just because you think you’re a great team player doesn’t make it so. Every day you can be a better team mate, you just need to make it a priority.
3. Try to understand kids better.
Kids see the world through a different lens. They enjoy life more, are more judgemental, but forgive much easier than most adults. When a kid approaches a problem, they do whatever it takes to overcome it. The try and try and try. Like a baby learning to crawl, failure is not an option.
We learn what failure is later on in life. We find out we can make excuses for not continuing with the learning process. Could you image if a child learning to walk gave up one day and said, “you know, I just don’t have time for this” like many of us do on the road to learning something new. We’re great at making excuses
Everyone is a media outlet.
Ten years ago, there were too many hurdles to jump through before you could get your own website. Today, a site can be developed as fast as your hosting company can get you on to their server. We’re talking hours, not months, weeks, or days. On Twitter and Facebook you can have an audience within minutes of signing up.
When something that’s traditionally been expensive, like communication to an audience, becomes incredibly inexpensive (almost free) inevitably more people will utilize it. That means there will be a lot of unintentional communication (more noise than signal). Companies begin communicating without understanding the repercussions and soon will alienate their past and potentially future customers. It happens on Facebook daily, updates that don’t solve a problem or entertain, just useless noise.
Here’s my warning.
Have you seen the Unsubscribe button on Facebook?
With one click, any one of your “friends/people” who like your page can silence everything you publish. That’s just Facebook.
Filters on e-mail allow anyone to block your address if you’re sending them e-mails they don’t want.
Twitter’s the easiest, they can just simply unfollow you.
Remember, everyone’s a publisher now, if you or your company are trying to communicate something to an audience, it better be anticipated, engaging, relevant, timely, helpful, or entertaining. If it’s not, no one is going to listen and you’re wasting your time.
Maybe it’s time to revisit your communication strategy.
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