Last week I was featured in Metro, one of the UK’s national newspapers in an article about overcoming the fear of saying yes, also known as FOSY:
Saying yes to…
.. a new resolution, challenge, project, enterprise, collaboration, hobby…
Over the last six months I’ve have been in conversation with hundreds of people, from different professions and walks of life: freelances, start-up founders, senior leaders in larger organisations, influencers, established and serial entrepreneurs, investors, professionals changing jobs, mums co-owning a business, students and so on.
They were sharing their stories, successes, worries and challenges.
For many of them, the fear of regret largely outweighs FOSY…
As I’ve been catching up recently, we began to share some of our wins (contracts, hires, PR opportunities, landing new jobs, collaborations, getting promoted and so on).
Although the domains and types of expertise are quite varied, I began to tease out the 3 attitudes that seem to be making a positive difference in 2023.
Listen more, and be more generous
It can be tempting to become overenthusiastic about your own job, company, product, or service, and accidentally make it the sole focus of the conversation.
In most cases, this is seen as rude and self-centred. Some wins may result from it, but in my opinion that’s just chance and settling for the bare minimum.
Be more generous with your attention and intentions.
Listen more. Listen to understand, listen to help. Think win-win.
2. Be willing to sit in the discomfort of a disagreeable conversation
I’ve been experimenting with #openai / #chatgpt recently. The volume of content it can produce, at speed, is remarkable. Not always original or up to date, nor particularly insightful but it is just the start.
I’ve seen a lot of content-based IP produced in organisations during the last decade. The intellectual property was written by people in the forms of plans, requirements, contractual agreements, strategies, process maps, and so on.
I would not be surprised if, in the very short future, OpenAI-generated IP would only require a fraction of the number of roles, to just validate for accuracy and relevance by experts. I’m pretty sure it’s already being applied, although not at scale and with improvable features, to apps such as word, excel, and others that can create content.
The implication is that, apart from highly skilled roles that can provide new real-world insight, or creative, lateral and original thinking in solving a concrete problem, everything else can be done with minimal human input.
What technology can’t replace is people’s ability to establish synergic partnerships, and effective collaborations. Particularly with others that think differently than we do (different jobs, backgrounds, nationality, race, gender, geography etc).
Collaborating effectively and having that level of open mind is a real challenge for many.
In my experience, 9 times out of 10, resistance arises because we expect people to think, and act, the way we do and we give up way too early, without giving it the benefit of the doubt.
If you are uncomfortable during a conversation, hang in there, be more inquisitive and open minded. The opportunity, insight and learning for you, are on the other side of the discomfort.
Listen for insight, not for agreement
3. Help v worry
Disruption is the theme of 2023 (and probably beyond). And it impacts almost everybody.
Approaching any conversation in the context of worrying, and need, is like a dense murk of smog polluting an opportunity or a relationship.
It’s a lot easier and more effective to approach conversations from the position of attempting to be helpful.
And to be helpful, you have got to image yourself walking in the other person’s shoes.
Time yourself, bulletproof your mind
What else have you notice that it is working?