We entrepreneurial types tend to be graded starting things and leaving other people to clean up the details. Our staff, virtual assistants, and colleagues may find it difficult to deal with us.
There's nothing wrong with you, you just need to realize what you're good at, what other people are good at, and how to negotiate the handling of tasks so that both of you are operating in your “zone”. So today, I'll explain to you how to work with other people without driving them crazy. Plus, here are some additional reasons to keep listening…
- One of the best books on selling I've ever read.
- How to stop “spiritual sweat disorder”.
- What to do with the information in this episode…
Tip Of The Week
I'm a little behind the party on this one, but I just got a fantastic new book called To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink. Pink gives a brand-new look at the art and science of selling. His insights go against what most of us have been taught about selling, but he has a lot of social science to back them up. This is a practical book, not just pie-in-the-sky theory. Pink has no less than six alternatives to the classic “elevator pitch”, and gives specific tips on how to perform other functions of the sales process in a more persuasive, more humane, and more profitable way.
Don't be fooled by the “work ethic” that demands you pour out the sweat before you get the reward. Earning your living by the “sweat of your brow” was actually part of the curse!
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Feature Segment: How To Work With Other People Without Making Them Crazy
Entrepreneurs possess certain personality traits that make us hard for other people to understand, and sometimes make it even harder for other people to work with us. In their perception, we create a lot of chaos, take a lot of risks, and behave capriciously. Our codebook for how to communicate and succeed is different from the codebook they are using.
If you've taken any of the personality type assessments, you may have discovered that you, as an entrepreneur, tend to be a Starter, and not so much a Finisher. I've known this about myself for quite some time, and the remedy is to surround yourself with people who are good Finishers, people who are good at doing the details and follow-up… and then letting them do that without micromanaging or driving them nuts.
That last part has been hard for me. I have found my interaction with other workers in my business, especially outsourcers, to be frustrating at best (with a few notable exceptions, among them being my stellar Assistant Kathy!). When things were not working so well, their work came in late, or not done correctly, or they disappeared on me when I needed them again. I read about a method of communication that, as far as I know, was developed by Rob Berkeley. It's called the Circle of Commitment, and has made a huge difference in the way I work with people.
- Request: you make a request of someone else, asking them to do a particular task or job.
- Negotiation: you mutually arrive at an agreement on what the completed work will look like, and when it will be done.
- Performance: the employee, or outsourcer, does what they agreed to do and delivers it to you.
- Acceptance: you communicate whether the job they did was satisfactory, and if it is you congratulate them, and if it is not you explain what needs to be done in order to complete the task. Rinse and repeat until the job is finished.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it has really revolutionized my life and eliminated a lot of stress for me. Probably for the people who do work for me as well. Because after reading about this in Perry Marshall's Renaissance Club Newsletter, I realized I was pretty horrible at every step except the first one. I was good at asking what I wanted done, not very clear when I was negotiating exactly what would be delivered, mostly oblivious to the performance of the task, and once the deliverables showed up I did an abysmal job of communicating that I had received the work and what my evaluation of it might've been. Not pretty.
Since becoming conscious of these four steps and using them as I work with others, I've become laser-accurate in my communications. I even received feedback from one of my writers, who expressed, with a great deal of relief, how exciting it was that I was finally letting them know that I had received the pieces he had written for me. I always assumed that he knew my silence meant everything was fine. Woops.
Just being clear in these four steps will make a huge difference in how you work with other people
What To Do Now
So here's your assignment that will help you turn this week show into profits, put the tips and action, and make your life better in the process.
- If you've never taken an assessment of your personality, such as the Kolbe A, do so. And then get every member of your team to take the same assessment. Make sure you've got the right people doing the right jobs, and that you're not out of balance somewhere or missing a key personality type.
- Post the Circle of Commitment somewhere prominent so that you will remember to practice it diligently.
- Whenever you negotiate and agree upon work to be done by someone else, make a note in your calendar or planning system so that you can follow through on the Acceptance step.
Question: How do you ensure better communication with your team members? Click here to leave your comments.