How to Get Out of Your Own Way in 2017

January 5, 2017 Chris Pearse

Human Beings have an uncanny knack of creating problems that don’t exist. You do it and I certainly do it. But using some simple reasoning to shift the point of view can help you get out of your own way and make business life rather simpler and easier:

  1. Take care what you think about. The mind and the imagination are very powerful. If you have been in the least bit successful, you have managed to take an idea, shape it in your imagination and create a reality through speech and action. So why would you let that amazing machine dwell on anything other than the good stuff that you want?
  2. Hold back on judging others. Have you ever been guilty of doing anything other than your best under the circumstances at the time, and without the benefit of hindsight? Did you not act on the prevailing feeling which was all you had to guide you? If that’s true for you then why should it not be true for others?
  3. Practice Listening. This is as challenging as it is simple. Programmed to agree or disagree with everything that is said, particularly at work, we habitually listen to our own responses rather than the words of another. Opening yourself to the influence of another’s point of view always helps them do the same – that’s real communication.
  4. Don’t chase Solutions. Reflect on the issue from every angle, entertain possibilities and allow time and space for different perspectives, intuitions, hunches, gut feelings, analyses and logic. Next steps will emerge if they are allowed to – don’t crush them in the rush for a fix.
  5. Stop obsessing on Outcomes. But if you must, just realise that you are living the outcome of everything you have ever thought, said and done, right now – you have arrived. Obsessing on negative outcomes is called Worry, which is using your imagination to create something you don’t want – not the best use of your mind.
  6. Take your Dashboard with a pinch of salt. Dashboards feature KPIs or measurables. Sometimes necessary but never sufficient. Would you review a book on the number of pages or chapters it has? Inconveniently perhaps, the real value of any enterprise can’t be reflected in its numbers.
  7. Treat Feelings with respect. Not just others’ but also your own. They are your decision-making faculty. Logic and reason can inform the feeling, but the feeling alone will determine your direction. Remember that when you make a sale, you’ve not sold a product or a service – not even a feature or a benefit. You’ve sold a feeling.

And finally, notice that not one of these suggestions asks you to do anything more – in fact they all ask you to do less. So no excuses. Good luck!