As I’ve moved through my two decades actuarial career, I’ve noticed that success or failure isn’t necessarily built only on the work or effort itself. Success isn’t necessarily and automatically based on who is the smartest, or who is the fastest, or who has the best skills or the most focused resume or the most innovative ideas. Often, success or failure is also influenced by the manner in which you share or present your work or effort. Small improvements in delivery can result in substantial improvements in outcome.
Here’s an example. Many people, when communicating results or ideas, communicate in the manner that feels most comfortable for them. I like data so I always share data. Or I am most influenced by anecdotes so I’ll always tell you a quick story which supports my position. Maybe I am most influenced by what everybody else thinks so I’ll give you the social angle. But if you instead shift your language to reflect your business partner’s perspective, then you will notice a remarkable improvement in outcome. When your business partners feel valued and understood, then they will be more likely to accept, recognize, appreciate and celebrate your work.
Sometimes our tone of voice or body language might communicate a different message than we are intending. Does showing up in-person to a meeting automatically mean that you are engaged with the content? Sometimes – no. Sometimes we may inadvertently send signals through our facial expression, body language or tone that undermine the messages we intend to send. If you check your phone or doodle during a meeting, what does this communicate to your colleagues? Let’s look at the flip side and consider – how can you effectively leverage your facial expression, body language or tone to reinforce the value of your work? And to build trust?
Studies have shown that when other people like us, then they are more likely to want to work with us, more likely to promote us, more likely to trust us. So even making yourself more likable will improve your outcomes. One way to do this is to find some similarities with your colleagues before getting down to business. Find something that you have in common. Maybe you both like Game of Thrones or both grew up in the same state. Maybe you have kids the same age. You also can “mirror and match” style – if you’re working with someone who is more formal, then be formal (avoid that high-five or hug greeting, instead opt for a good handshake).
If you are interested in learning how easy changes to your behaviors can have significant positive impact on your outcomes (and overall success!) then join my webinar at 1:00pm ET on May 28, 2019 called Climbing the Ladder – Communication Techniques to Optimize Your Influence and Effectiveness. I’ll dig deeper into the above topics and also cover others that will help you effectively improve your outcomes and achieve the success that you deserve.