Susan(name changed) is one of my clients. We have been working on her transition into a job role she got promoted to recently.
In the course of the conversation she mentioned that one of the things that her new position requires is to host relationship building events with customers. She feels extremely nervous just thinking about these because she believes that she is not good at public speaking. She feels worried about how she speaks on stage and that her lack of oratory skills will show her in a poor light. She is also pretty sure that other than this one thing she can handle the role perfectly and is excited about the opportunity.
This is something I hear frequently with my clients. Part of their job that does not feel right and more importantly does not feel like them.
” I need to socialize and get to know the boss better and build my network to grow in my career. But that’s so not me. I feel like I am sucking up.”
” I am a great consultant but I can’t sell my services as a consultant. Bragging about how good I am seems cheap. ”
” I can’t tell a client that they are overstepping the boundaries and what they are asking for is not in the scope. I feel that would be impolite and that’s not me.”
Do any of these or similar issues hold you back from success? Is there something that you feel is important to do but doesn’t come naturally to you? You may also know that not doing it is not an option. So you suck it in and try doing it feeling miserable the whole time. If this feels like something you have been struggling with try the below
Start with your purpose: Why do you need to do this task? What is the end result you want? A better relationship with your boss/team/customers? Getting the project completed? Also ask what you want to get from this task personally? What do you want to learn? How will doing this grow you as an individual and as a professional? Knowing the purpose often motivates you to go beyond your comfort zone and take on things that may have seemed difficult otherwise.
What needs to change for this to be doable? Explore what you need to do to get through this task without getting hassled. What would make it comfortable to deal with? Susan found that if she knew some of the audience personally she found it easier to speak at events. She felt that if people knew her they would not judge her caliber purely on her speaking ability alone. Alternately if you need help to build skills , abilities or confidence sometimes professional help is the best way to approach it.
What are the alternatives to achieve the same outcome?: Once you know what you want to achieve explore ways to do the same thing. First ask yourself do “you” need to do it or can you delegate it to an expert without any critical problems. If you need to do it yourself then explore options of how you could achieve the same outcome differently. We found that for Susan meeting the customers one to one over a meal would get her better results than group events at almost the same cost.
**Know the trade offs:When looking for an alternate route check for tradeoffs. For Susan meeting each customer one on one would involve a greater investment of time. But she also felt that it was worth it because she got to know each customer personally, was able to give each customer undivided attention and also understood the customer’s business more closely. If there is a tradeoff that has a negative effect then you may need to look at a third way or look for ways to mitigate the alternate way.
Embrace the task with the mindset that you can do it well: If you were one of those people who could do this task with ease who would you be? Think about the qualities you would have and how you would feel. Now imagine you are that person. What are some of the things you would do differently? Sometimes approaching a task with the mindset of having complete control on it takes away a whole load of hesitations.Another approach is to take the Nike way and “Just do it”. Sometimes the reality is less scarier than our fears make it seem.