We’ve all heard of the “yes man” – why has the opposite never taken hold? “No” is a word people are not used to hearing – especially when an issue stirs a lot of passion in the room, or is being delivered by the boss. Dealing with conflict in work situations is tricky, and many people struggle. The ability to view an issue objectively, and from multiple perspectives is a learned skill. Your ability to define the core issue at hand and the business reasons to accept or reject a proposal will move things forward.
- Thank You
Two simple words that make a huge difference to people. We are all busy – and most of us feel overloaded. Next time someone delivers on time, or highlights an issue you need to be aware of – or even holds the elevator door for you – remember to say “thank you”. To paraphrase author Martha Beck, it takes just as long to say “thank you” as it does to say “screw you” – and you get a lot different results! Let’s all allow for a bit more courtesy in the corporate world.
- I Don’t Know
“I can’t tell the President that I don’t have the answer” is a phrase I repeatedly hear. Why not, I challenge? When you are presenting in an executive meeting setting, you are being asked for your point of view: YOU are the expert in the room. It’s unrealistic for your President or CEO to think you will have every answer to every question. Don’t try to fake it. Let your exec team know that you will find the information, and give them a date by which to expect a response. Your candor and decisiveness will go a long way in establish your brand.
Many of us are high-achievers. In fact, it’s likely your personal drive, intelligence and passion that have gotten you to where you are today. You’ve built a successful career through skill and hard work. Basketball great Michael Jordan had it right: talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships. Start adding this simple word in your meetings:
- Together, we achieved the following in the last quarter….
- We will work on the following together….
- We have challenges ahead, but together we can…
You’ve found a simple and compelling way to appeal to the people in the room and get moving in the same direction.
- Take a Breather
OK – this many not be one that you share out loud. But the fact is that breathing, as I have been instructed, is “what tells the nervous system that everything is OK”. If you find yourself getting tense, stressed, or angry in a meeting, PAUSE and regulate your breathing. Deep breath in, deep breath out. (And no one has to know you’re doing this exercise!) Not only will this calm your nervous system and slow your heartrate, but breathing actually expels the toxins in your body. A :10-20 second exercise could reap long term benefits.