Give people confidence and a tough milestone. Prepare the safety net and be amazed by the results.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Most of the people don't ask questions they think will put them in an inferior position or damage their image because they feel they should have already known the answer. Why? A better approach is, I guess, to understand that if you are a pro than you are a pro and people see and respect that in you or, if you are an aspiring pro, then the easiest way to become one is to learn - and people respect that also. By restraining oneself from asking, one gets to:
- Not get relevant answers.
- Consider many things to be understood a priori by all parties involved because "real pros already know all these simple things" - Do I need to say how wrong that is? How all people see things differently because they had different experiences?
- Miss ideas, suggestions. All unspoken words are a missed opportunity for lateral thinking.
- Be considered uncommunicative or, sometimes, even worse: arrogant or stiff.
- Understand things the wrong way, get wrong ideas, do wrong things.
I guess that, if one is in the room, probably he/she is there because someone has confidence that he/she has something to say so why not say it?
VERY IMPORTANT: no to fall to the other extreme: speak all the time because you think you have all the answers and have the right to monopolize the whole conversation. The point for asking questions is to let others speak and gather information from them by actively listening to what they have to say.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
We are valuable for what we can do and not for what we can't do. Before jumping to the conclusion that something is impossible, one should make sure he understood perfectly the requirements, that he studied in depth all possible scenarios, that he consulted all available resources and tried to find all possible angles from which the problem could be attacked. I'm not saying that everything is possible or that one should hide if a problem is insolvable. All I'm saying is that it's really not ok for someone to start a priory by "we can't do that" without making sure it cannot be done under all circumstances.
BTW, requests that cannot be completed no matter what are very rare - usually managers and customers have a sense for what is absurd and what is not and don't ask for impossible things or, at least, are willing to discuss options. Most of the time it cannot be done because of miscommunication and lack of mutual understanding. Even under insane deadlines, something can usually be done, but may require changing the requirements and a close tracking.