What does everyone want more of?
Think about the power you would wield, if you knew the answer. What if you knew what everyone secretly and truly wants? What is it that they’re not saying aloud to anyone, but keeping as a dark secret?
Go one step further and imagine if you could DELIVER what everyone wants!
Now here’s news that’s disappointing but not surprising. According to the New York Times, you can simply Google “being more” and find out the answer. So many people have typed: “being more …” into this search engine, that Google autocompletes “being more” with these top three answers:
1. Being more confident
2. Being more assertive
3. Being more productive
Do you have one of these “being more” goals? Do you want to be more sure of yourself? Do you want to be a better advocate for yourself? Do you want to get more out of every hour you dedicate to work?
These are the top three things that most people want. So, it’s likely you do as well.
However, the real use of this information is not for your own navel-gazing. The most beneficial insight is how you can use this knowledge about what other people want to develop rewarding relationships with them.
No matter what you do: frame it with these top three goals in mind. Discuss what you do in terms of confidence, assertiveness and productivity. Don’t define yourself by what you actually do, or the features or functions of your product or service that deliver results.
For example, a dentist isn’t selling his ability to fill cavities – instead he’s selling confident good looks. A prospective intern isn’t offering to help with social media – instead she’s offering to assert a company’s message to prospects, customers, media and investors. A business consultant isn’t recommending a new project management system – instead she’s boosting your productivity or the productivity of your workforce and systems.
What happens when you speak in terms of what other people truly want? What happens when you offer to deliver one of the three things they rarely admit to needing?
Simply put: you win.
Tapping, typing and swiping give you instant access to all kinds of things you want. For example today on Buzzfeed, I tapped open a list of 37 ways to hack IKEA furniture so it looks a little less like IKEA furniture. I typed up a list on Workflowy, to organize the assets of a new learning program I’m about to launch. And, I swiped my credit card to pay for 1,000 monk grass seedlings to surround the treehouse I just built in my backyard.
My brain did almost nothing the entire day.
Turns out when we tap, type and swipe, we fail to engage our brains in a deep and meaningful way. With this device at our fingertips mentality, we are reduced down to poorly operating robots, because we’re simply following prompts, and even worse: we’re easily distracted.
As someone who spends the better part of 18 hours hooked up to a device of some kind almost every day, the new neuroscience on device dependency alarmed me. We are short-circuiting the thought process that comes from writing. The teacher who demanded you learn cursive or at least print out letters and numbers with a pen, pencil, crayon or piece of chalk actually knew best.
Apparently, the physical motion of writing with your hand and fingers while your eyes watch the characters emerge engages your brain in a powerful and positive way. One that cannot be mimicked by any other means, even that cool new feature where you can talk your texts and emails, and the device does the tapping, typing and swiping for you.
If you are in a position – or would like to be in a position where you are trusted to make decisions or advocate for your organization:
- Push away from your device.
- Remove your hands from your screen or keyboard.
- Pick up a pen and get old school – literally.
- It’s always a surprise when something simple is the fix for what ails you.
If you have been struggling with creativity, motivation, focus, assertiveness, or communication: consider getting out a pen and paper and simply writing down the problems you’d like to solve. Then write down what comes to mind, maybe some key words, a list or even just doodles.
Turns out going device free for a few moments every day might be the key to getting ahead in your career and business.
Uplugging? It’s not just for balance. It’s for business.
“My dad taught me an important lesson. If you rehearse every maneuver ahead of time, people don’t panic when things get really intense.” So says, Peter Hancock, CEO of AIG when discussing how competitive sailing led to his management philosophy.
The worst is likely the last thing you want to think about when you are preparing for a job interview or new business meeting. It’s the last thing you want to imagine before going on camera or leading a presentation. And, it certainly isn’t how you visualize each day at work, when it seems everything is going all right.
But, on any given day in any given circumstance, it pays to be prepared. Not simply ready. Prepared for everything around you to fail.
I recently graduated a group of young managers from my Global Marketing course on campus at UCLA. Thirty presentations in three hours, including switching out presenters, finding PPTs and making sure the technology stayed up. We almost made it. Then, the last presenter came up at 9:50 PM. It was Umut, the gentleman from Turkey who graciously had taken the final spot because he had my permission to go a bit longer than the others. In the middle of this stellar visual display of a new product introduction into a foreign market: bam. Lights out.
Are you prepared for things to go all wrong on your big day?
That day could be a big job interview. Your pitch meeting with producers. The ship date for your trade show exhibit.
Imagine your big day. Gone terribly wrong. Are you ready?
Do you have a back-up plan? Do you have a back-up plan to your back-up plan? Have you rehearsed exactly what you will do?
Our presenter did. Umut took his laptop and his index cards. He faced the laptop toward us, sat on the table with it and used the light to see his cue cards. Turns out it just lit up his face, because his eyes stayed focused on us.
He smiled. Of course, he did. Umut had given that presentation in the dark for the last seven days. Right before he went to sleep, he rehearsed. He practiced during the day, while he was driving. In those rehearsals, no visuals supported his narrative.
Whatever matters to you: first rehearse for the worst. Prepare as if no one else could help you, support you or save you. Rehearse for the intense times, when someone else might panic.
As I watched Umut present I could only think how lucky we were to listen to him, and how lucky his future employers will be.
Luck might be the meeting of preparation and opportunity. That’s the opportunity to succeed when others might fail. What display of mastery, confidence and calm should you be rehearsing for right now?