Friday 8 January 2016

11 lessons I've learned the hard way from saying what I'm thinking

As an Aussie I really enjoyed this ABC TV documentary where Howard Jacobson traces the footsteps of four of our iconic people Germaine Greer, Barry Humphries, Clive James and Robert Hughes.

I've since thought a lot about a Clive James comment early in the show where he suggested that his early success had a lot to do with just doing what Australian's do naturally i.e. saying what we're thinking.

I think 2016 can be a watershed year for your business and the world in general if more people say what they're thinking. 

There are some traps to avoid to ensure saying what you're thinking has a positive impact. Here are 11 lessons I've learned the hard way from saying what I'm thinking:

1) If your intention is just to get your own way it's likely you won't.

2) There are two fundamental reasons for human conflict; we disagree on the goal or more commonly we disagree on how to achieve it. Invest time and energy in reaching a shared-view about the reason for the goal and once you have that reaching a shared-view about the how will be much easier.

3) Speaking when angry or frustrated is never a good idea.

4) There's a time and a place to say what you're thinking. Choose when very carefully.

5) The best people to name elephants in the room are insiders. Encourage people in private and help them with how they will share their feelings and thoughts on the problem/challenge.

6) There are cultural and personal boundaries. Understand where the lines are and don't cross them.

7) Short term wins are of little value if they lead to long term loss.

8) Communicating well is more about how you say something that what you're saying.

9) Humour is a key ingredient for good communication particularly humour that is self-depreciating.

10) Being candid without being convivial risks what you're saying being taken the wrong way.

11) It's essential to always check-in with people to ensure message you sent was received as intended. This is best preceded by checking in with others to make sure you received their message as they intended.

Be remarkable.

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