Some of the best feedback I've ever had was from a couple of colleagues when we were doing a “personal brand” exercise. I said I wanted to be known as someone who was an expert in their field; managed to work within their own values and do all of that with great personal warmth.
There was a high degree of agreement from others in my group about what they and I. However – two brave souls said to me “We agree in the main – but when you’re not happy with something, or even bored with it, you get a certain ‘look’ that can be quite intimidating.”
Now, I knew this. Bizarrely however, I’d managed to kid myself on that others didn’t. It was a fantastic and salutary lesson in self-development and from there onwards, self-management. Being aware of how I felt, and choosing how I responded – as opposed to letting it all hang out – meant that my relationships with others improved, I got people on board with ideas and projects more quickly, and seemed to get better results all round. I still have to manage the face to this day. That’s ok. It’s worth it!
I was reminded of this last recently when I was working with a fantastic new client of ours who are going through a lot of change. We did an exercise about what behaviours, processes and projects they would like to take with them, leave behind and introduce in their brave new world.
Under “leave” there was a wishful thinking about leaving certain people in other teams/departments behind – whilst acknowledging that to do so would be counter-productive to getting the job in hand done efficiently and effectively.
So we talked about how to challenge yourself on how you deal with those people you have labelled as “difficult”. How might things change if you change? I talked about my charm offensive with my very grumpy local postmaster – I was fed up of seeing his face peering through the plexiglass at me with a scowl on it, until I decided that I would become his “friend”. Result? We get on brilliantly now.
When you change, when you try to adopt tactics and strategies that fit in with what the other person needs and wants, you’re never absolutely guaranteed that you’ll get what you need – but the chances are higher than they were before. Go on, give it a try.
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about the author
Nicky Denegri is our Senior Consultant. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop her an email and we will be in touch.