What can you start doing TODAY to position yourself to be a star? Use these ten steps to make a difference and succeed at work – today we will cover the first step.
1. Ask, Listen & Volunteer
One of the things successful people are good at is asking questions. In many cases, people ask a lot of “Why” questions: Why are we doing it this way? Why do we have to continue to do it this way? Questions are secret weapons to move ahead and forward. One way to step up your game at the office is to simply change your questioning strategy to:
- What can I do to improve this situation?
- What improvements can we make to this process?
- What are the things we should stop doing and what should we continue doing?
This approach brings a level of innovation and creativity into our thinking and maintains a positive approach. By asking questions people feel as though you are interested, engaged, and passionate about what you are doing.
The second part is to listen for the revealing answers. Listening can be very difficult because we all have our own biases and listening is hard work. It takes twice as much energy to listen than to talk. I encourage people to listen not only for the content, but for the emotions behind the words. This highest level of listening is called empathetic listening. An empathetic listener is someone who listens beyond the words to understand the feelings, intentions, and implications of what the other person is saying. For example, if a person is telling you about certain things that need to be changed about a process or procedure, one of the things you want to listen for is how much pain, anxiety, frustration the present procedure is causing this person. That will help you determine the level of importance of solving this particular issue.
The last part of this first step is to volunteer. If you believe you might have a solution, volunteer to look into the situation. This does not mean you need to promise a solution, all you need to say is, “I am going to look into this and determine if there is a better way.” Another very important point is to ask for help. In this complex changing world we live in, it is very difficult for one person to know everything. As a result we all need to help one another and ask for help when we need it.
The only way we can learn and grow is to engage other people, ask for their assistance and advice and listen to them.