A key aspect in self development is to nurture the art of learning and applying it to future events. If this is sounds trivial to you I would like to assure you that it is not, even if you are self-aware and generally open-minded.

Let me explain why I came to think this way.

I had a boss once who prided himself in asking the off-beat, unexpected question. For him this was like an intellectual game and at first it seemed to me he was just stalling in making his decisions. It took me a while before I clicked - if I tried really hard I could start to anticipate his questions and have a ready-made answer for him. This worked extremely well. I was able to start to demonstrate that I knew my stuff, which in turn built trust with him and I got more decisions more quickly. To be fair, he still managed to rumble me now and then...

Later on in my career I had a similar boss, but I never found the sweet spot with him. When I analyse that relationship now I am amazed about my own inability to play the game correctly.

What had changed? Over many successful years I had come to the point where "I knew best". Somehow I convinced myself that I no longer had to justify my actions, that the decisions I was pushing for were obvious and all that was needed was for my seniors to applaud in approval.

What is the conclusion? Whatever we think, whatever we are sure of, we still need to convince others to sign-off, fund, or support our proposals. That means exploring and understanding their frame of mind, their constraints, and their emotional state in relationship to the topic. Keep thinking of all the questions someone might ask of you - in other words, hone your anticipation skills and you will have better relationships and get more accomplished throughout your (working) life.

#coaching #mentoring #management

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