Being able to bring a fresh eye to the table is usually a priceless skill. Even if you have been there 2, 5, or 20 years. Sometimes you have that team player that sits back and says little, then suddenly, they present a slam dunk idea! What were they doing all this time? Taking a step back and listening, paying attention to both the verbal and non-verbal conversation. Reflecting on current capabilities / lessons learned and anticipating the needs of both the internal and external client resulting in the next winning move. This team player has more going on in the background than people give them credit for.
You must work at this valuable skill, and here are a few tips to get you started.
- Always practice good listening skills. If you are the type of person who always has the last word or says something negative about an idea, stop. This is a sub conscious power play. Relinquish the power and you will gain leadership. Trust. Influence. Show value in what the other person is saying. People love to be heard.
- Read on a regular basis. In addition to the work-related material, throw some fiction into the mix. If you don’t have actual role models of the leadership experience you want, fictional stories may be a great resource. Now, the sheer page volume of the reading material does not matter. Just challenge yourself to get bits and pieces of “take away” tips / methods. We all have limited time, don’t bog yourself down with an unrealistic “reading goal”. Just keep moving.
- Cross training. You don’t always need a Lessons Learned formal meeting to see areas in need of improvement. Here are two benefits of Cross Training.
It’s a great way to identify areas where change can help the bottom line. How? It forces you to ask the question “why”. Why are we doing this? Who benefits from this? If the person does not know the answer, heads up, this is most likely an area where the process is ready for reexamination. And through your reading knowledge you may see an application for new techniques / technology that could be integrated into the activity and help everyone! A World Cup winning moment!
It’s also a method for gaining insight to the needs of your colleague (your internal customer).
The CDFA process is an excellent foundation for all three tools, especially cross training. The exposure to other portions of the business team is a great insight when dealing with multi-department issues. This enhanced understanding (of Project Management, HR, Administration, Marketing, Finance) gives you an upper hand when reaching out to your internal customer. In addition to your professional experience, SDA provides a boat load of information meant to supplement and support your work experience and knowledge base.
Hopefully these three tools (listening, reading, and cross training) will help you bring fresh insight to your next meeting.
This week’s Talking Tuesday is recommended by: SDA Dallas, Sherie Russell