Guest Blog: Think Strategically. Execute Brilliantly.
My friend Anne Miller is quite a brilliant woman. Her whole business is built around ensuring that clients and buyers get the right messaging at the right time in the right way. Toward this goal, she has written 2 acclaimed books on using metaphors to explain a solution, teaches negotiation skills, and runs a very interesting Presenting Skills course. Below is a great blog about presentations and negotiating. Her connect details are in her blog. Enjoy her. She’s terrific. sd
Einstein was afraid that technology might outrun our humanity. Not sure he was talking about email and info overload, but his concern certainly applies in high stakes communication situations.
Technology has us all rushing around working faster and faster. Time to think has been lost. In a business world of increasing complexity, commoditization of offerings, and limited attention spans, failure to push back and protect your time to think can be fatal to your bottom-line.
Here are two examples of how failure to think strategically results in an inability to execute brilliantly.
In Presenting… I see people failing to think in these basic, but critical, areas:
1. What is the clear, crisp, memorable message I want to leave with my listeners?
2. What is the specific appropriate next step I want from my listeners?
3. What are the best ways to visually support what I am saying?
Poor strategic thinking leads to confusion, longer sales cycles, and/or no sale.
In Negotiating… I see people failing to think in these, again, basic, but critical, areas:
1. What will I ask for, what will I accept, what will I walk away from?
2. What can I trade to prevent deadlock?
3. What does the other side need to feel good about our agreement?
Poor strategic thinking here leads to weakened relationships, money left on the table, or no deal when one was possible.
Slow Down. You Move Too Fast… Years ago, before our current tech info deluge, I used to say, laughingly, to seminar attendees, “Engage mind before mouth.” Now, I say that in total seriousness. The stakes are too high to waste those precious face-to-face opportunities you have with clients. Think first. Execute second.
P.S. Did you know that when you work and constantly interrupt yourself to answer a phone, respond to the ping of an email, or jump from proposal to proposal that it takes you about 17 seconds to re-focus yourself on your task? Multi-tasking is a myth. You can only concentrate with complete focus on one item at a time (Try talking on the phone and watching TV with EQUAL attention. You can’t do it.) If you want to be more productive, give yourself permission to finish one activity before jumping to the next.