As you know, my sweet spot is working with high performers – especially women. For those of you wondering, I do actually work with some pretty impressive men too. Regardless of gender, what I find in this group of clients is a relentless drive for results. But even with that drive, sometimes people overlook how they can create the outcomes they want.
For example, I recently met with a leader who was excited about a promising business relationship that could really take his company to the next level. After having two fruitful meetings with this potential client, he shifted into “wait and see” mode because he felt the ball was in the other party’s court.
Although he may not have had as much control as he wanted in this situation, he had much more power and influence than he realized.
To get him thinking about how he could create the outcome that he wanted, I asked him a few questions. Even though you may be faced with a different type of opportunity or challenge than his, the following questions will shift your mindset and approach – leading you closer to the outcome you want:
What would you like to have happen?
Start by defining what the ideal outcome would look like. Get really specific about the most important elements, for you and the other party involved. For example, these elements could include your role and responsibilities, your working relationship with the other party, your compensation…and so on.
What would it take to make that happen?
Next, for the ideal outcome to happen, what would it really take? In other words, what are the key pieces that would have to be in place? In the example above, it was more credibility and trust between the two parties. As we talked further, he also realized that minimizing risk for both parties mattered a great deal.
What are the first two steps you can take to lead to the outcome you want?
After you’ve answered the first two questions, you will find that the answer to this last question comes much more easily. You begin to see the small steps you can take to start moving things in the direction you want. Remember that it can be subtle things that you say or do. The most important part is making sure the steps tie to the outcome you want and what must be in place to make it happen. In this example, this leader realized that crafting some kind of pilot project was the best way for both parties to try something on a small scale, to minimize risk and advance their working relationship.
Although we don’t always have control over a situation, we CAN influence the outcome. Just remember that getting really clear about what you want shifts your mindset and helps you naturally and easily start creating the outcome you want.