I sometimes hear folks say if they only had more talent, they’d be more successful. Talent Schmalent. Here are seven simple things you can do today to be more effective, to be of greater benefit to others and be considered way cool by your peers. And they don’t require a lick of talent to do them.
- Show up. That’s right, just be there. From the most important business meetings to gatherings with friends, if you said you’d be there, be there. Don’t be that person who, when asked, “Gosh, we were worried. Where were you?”, shrugs nonchalantly with, “Oh, yeah… sump’m came up.”
- Be on time. Typing with head hanging low, I’m sharing with you what I wish I’d learned earlier: tardiness communicates a lack of respect for others. (Thankfully, and with intentionality, I’ve made progress here.) When you’re on time, you appear more ready for the task and convey consideration for others’ time.
- Check your body language. Maybe you’re in a great mood and feeling love toward all with whom you come in contact. Great! But if your face is scowling, they catch a completely different vibe. The old saying is true: “If you’re happy, tell your face.” Are your arms folded in a closed manner while someone talks with you? Looking elsewhere? Sighing, with an “I wish I was anywhere but here” look? Listen with your eyes as well as your ears. Look at the person talking with you. Nod occasionally to let them know you’re tracking. Resist folding your arms or putting them on your hips. These stances are unapproachable, authoritarian and make it appear that we think we’re a “know-it-all”. Open your body to open conversation. And here’s a novel idea: put your cell phone away during meetings or lunch dates. Unless it’s the doc with your biopsy results, don’t answer. Don’t even look at it. Wow, how weird would that be? Pretty weird, but here’s the thing: Your friend, loved one or co-worker will walk away feeling incredibly valued. It will set you apart in this “Sorry, I gotta take this call” world.
- Go the extra mile. When our grandchildren visit, we go to the petting zoo.
It’s fun and educational!
I could sit back and watch, but I go the extra mile. I want our time together to be fun and memorable.
But I do draw the line somewhere. The shot below was taken with a zoom from 40 feet. And frankly, even that’s waaaaaay too close. Forget fun and memorable. I’ll be in the car, kids.That’s Daisy, the resident python. Isn’t it precious how she wraps herself around and plays peek-a-boo? (I’m gonna have nightmares.) But I digress. The point is, doing a little more than required sets you apart by showing you care.
- Be coachable. You know a lot, you smart friend, you! But you don’t know everything. When someone takes the time to share a potential area for growth in your life, don’t lose the opportunity by being defensive or closed to the idea. Even if it’s not presented in the best way, recognize that there may be a grain of truth to consider. “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
- Be prepared. Do the homework necessary to be ready for class, meetings, rehearsals, etc. Don’t make it so others have to catch you up because you didn’t read the article, look over the minutes, acquaint yourself with the proposed guidelines or practice your part of the music. When you’re prepared, others appreciate it and the project can move forward in a timely manner.
- Have a good attitude. You may not be the most brilliantly gifted at what you do, but when you are generally cheerful, grateful and aim to please, friends and customers alike want to be around that! Talent is nice, but whether you have it or not, you can still be a star by using these seven simple things to establish trust, gain greater influence, and be amazing!
I’d love to hear from you! What else would you add to the list?