Today we have many interesting and important events invited to attend. There are actually too many events and we need to make decisions to choose the events giving us the best value. Whether you are a CEO, Owner, Janitor, College Student, Mom, Dad, and even Kids, we all have forums and events. We need to give the right choices about how to spend our valuable time.
A job is a way to get paid. At times we are required to attend events for a job, and there is no reason to stress about the use of time as our employer will pay to have us sit and, hopefully, learn something. However, if there are competing events or deadlines that might suffer, then it is our responsibility to present the facts. Do not make a big deal about the conflict, just present the facts and ask your supervisor what has higher priority. This meets your obligation as a good and conscientious member of your team while providing the decision to your manager.
This is very different from personal time and commitments. Our community is with whom and how we interact. We are often not skilled in crafting the best positive experience when presented with a difficult or non-desirable decision for ourselves or others. I am hoping this insight will guide your approach to determine when to spend your valuable time and when to suggest this may be a waste of time.
Determine if this event is important to you.
This can involve a direct personal benefit, a professional benefit or a business benefit. The benefit outcome or perceived value should be easily described and connected to how it will improve something around you [personal, professional, business]. This does not need to be a solid fact, at times it is good enough to just feel positive about the future outcome.
Test benefit value to you
Write the value proposition [this is how we think value is measured] and sell it to yourself
* If you can’t win the argument with yourself, then it is not a high probability you can convince someone else.
Present it to your audience [it may be yourself, then really test what was written as if a friend had just shown it to you].
* If you are presenting the trade-off of why this will provide value, make sure you put the discussion to identify the other person’s value or benefit. If I think it has no value to “me” then I will not accept you selling me something.
Assess the reaction and then share what you think [Be honest, but NEVER mean. There are many ways to share negative responses in nice ways]. There are two reactions: positive and negative.
1. If you get a positive response, then set a very short plan of action [maybe 2-4 steps] that you are going to take to make this a success.
2. If the reaction is negative, but you think there is real value, ask questions why this does not feel good or has a negative future outcome from you audience. This is important for two reasons.
* You need to understand what went wrong and how to avoid this in this future.
* You may be able to add [only once and never argue] a SINGLE fact or detail that is identified that you forgot to mention. If this is the case, listen carefully to what is said, not what you want to hear. Repeat the concern and only then suggest the missing information to see if this changes the situation. If not, make sure you are confident you have covered the first bullet.
That’s it. You are now a master at discovering if there is value in the event.
Some additional insight
It is really important to manage our quality of life. Less stress and more happiness brings our communities, and yes we have many [Church, Work, Parties, Play dates, Competitions and even Dinner], more joy and higher energy and we share this powerful positive influence with everyone around us. There are so many negatives and detractors that we face, it is our responsibility to promote our own healthy environment to improve our personal space.
So, why is this so hard to do all of the time? When was the last time you really assessed a future event, versus making a snap decision. The key to adding value is to take the minute or so and concentrate on doing this type of assessment. Yeah, I know, formal assessments are supposed to be long, complex and expensive. NOT TRUE. Formal is simply a process or approach that is documented [see bullets above] and repeatable. I hope this has been achieved
Well, that’s it. Nothing too complicated, but VERY POWERFUL if applied.
One last thought.
As I find myself doing this more and more, it is no longer necessary to concentrate, it now comes naturally. However, I find if the benefit list is written down, then people take me more seriously as it appears I spent a lot of time thinking.
Jordan Gottlieb is an expert Systems Engineer and Executive Management Consultant. The 25+ years of consulting experience and Masters Degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and an MBA in International Business provide incredible depth and perspective to distill complex topics into easy to understand approaches.