Who’s Blowing Yours?
Why, in a career blog would I be talking about trumpets? I don’t play one and probably never will, but there is a trumpet we all need to learn to play, and that’s our own.
I know, right, we’ve been told since we were really small, things like “don’t blow your own trumpet”, “it’s bad to brag”, and so on.
But seriously, if you don’t blow your own trumpet, it’s likely that nobody ever will.
In last week’s blog and Monday Munch (sign up at the bottom of this blog post if you’re not already getting it) I gave you a framework to talk about yourself competently, confidently and, probably most importantly, comfortably.
Listen to the good stuff
One thing that really helps in preparation for that is getting used to taking compliments about yourself. In other words, listening when people say nice things about you and deliberately focussing on your own good points.
In this week’s blog I’ve got a great tip to help you sell yourself comfortably, without feeling like you are.
It will be hugely beneficial to you in interviews, performance appraisal conversations and with prospective customers or clients.
One of the simplest ways you can reduce stress, get more done and get more of what you want is by remembering, before you start anything, to take a few moments to decide what the outcome is that you want.
It doesn’t matter how big or small that something is.
It could be your major life, career or business goals (in which case you’ll take a bit longer), or it could be the telephone call you’re about to make to a key client or customer, or the meeting you’re walking into to try to land that next job.
So, for example, my objectives for The Monday Munch email are:
Something that will only take a minute or two to read (so you’ll have time for a quick sneaky peak.)
Something that gives you something you can use practically (so you’ll want to have a look.)
Something you’ll want to share with friends and colleagues (because they will thank you.)
Here’s an example: if it was a telephone call that was a bit nervous about making, I might just say...
The answer to this isn’t necessarily as obvious as you think!
OK, well I guess there’s one really obvious answer:
So that you’re always ready to go to the job market, especially when the unexpected happens like your role is made redundant.
BUT, there are other reasons that you will benefit by updating your CV regularly (I always suggest to my clients that they do a mini career review every 2-3 months, and this is part of it.)
Your Mindset Morsel this month hails back to something that happened a long time ago, but which can teach us a valuable lesson right here and now.
You can! ...but do you really want to?
It was 65 years ago this month that Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four minute mile. He did it at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford on 6th May 1954.
The current world record had stood for 9 years and the four-minute mark was, in many people’s mind, the next big barrier. Some people, including medical professionals, didn’t believe it was possible for someone to run that fast.
When you think something is impossible, difficult, or not achievable by you, that is generally what you experience.
It becomes even more likely that you won’t achieve it if you listen to other people say how impossible or difficult it is.
So, think about your career, or life in general. What are the things that you want and perhaps even know that you could achieve that “for some reason”...
You’ve almost certainly heard people talking about networking. You may have these or other reactions:
Wherever you are now, you need to know that networking plays a huge part in the job market, careers and business. If you’re not doing it then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity, and a lot of interesting and enjoyable interactions.
Why is it so useful? It can help you perform better in your current role; it can help you to line up your next career step; it can help you to raise your profile and build reputation; it can help you research job or career moves and refine your CV; it can connect you with hiring managers; …and much more.
A lot of people I work with have the same reaction I had when I first came across...
Your Mindset Morsel this month is all about understanding why it is that other people sometimes see things so differently from you.
Of course, what you saw is the truth - what they saw is just their opinion. But remember they’d say the same about you!
Want to understand why people see things differently from you?
Sport provides a great analogy to help us do this. If you’re not a sports fan, stick with this ‘cos it applies to any event: what happened on a night at the movies, a shopping trip, a meeting at work and so on.
Just ask a police officer how many different stories they get from witnesses of the same road traffic accident.
So, imagine we all went to see a football match last week. Some of us supported the home team, some the away team, and some were neutrals. Talk to any one of us after the game and you might get some very different reactions and stories about the game and particular people or incidents during the game. For example...
I saw a great picture on Instagram the other week. You may have caught my short video on Linked about it.
If you take the word ME and draw the reflected image of it underneath you get WE. And that got me thinking about how what we do individually is really important; your skills, qualities, achievements, contributions and impact. After all, that’s why people employ you or, if you’re running a business, buy from you.
But, what this image got me reflecting on is that for any one of us to be successful there needs to be an element of WE involved. Look a the great genius’s and inventors throughout history. Look at the top sports people, business leaders, pop stars and so on. Every one of them has a team around them who have coached, helped, pushed, challenged, supported them to be who they are.
So take a moment to think about who all the WE’s are in your life. Who are the members of your team who support you; colleagues, staff, people in other departments,...
This Mindset Morsel is all about getting really aware of what you're saying to yourself and the effect it could be having on your results.
As usual it's something simple that you can take away and try out now.
Just take a moment to think about how often you use the word “should”?
You might be surprised! I’ll make prediction that when you start thinking about it, you’ll find that it’s quite a lot. In fact, you might find that you’re shoulding all over yourself.
Which is something you could choose to change.
Notice “could”, not “should”: and that really is the point. If I tell you that you should do something, I’m saying that I know better, and there’s some pressure in there for you to do what I say.
But “could” gives you the choice and the power to decide. And it gives you the responsibility for your own outcomes.