How to Become a Trusted Advisor?

July 30, 2011

How to build trust with the Boss or Customer? What do you think of your boss or customer? 

I guess more important question for your success is – what does your boss (or customer) think of you? Does your boss (or customer) trust you? Trust is invisible currency of faith. Once you have earned it,  you become trusted advisor. It takes time to develop trust, but can be lost in a flash.  Trust makes work life more enjoyable, gives satisfaction and makes one more productive.   I believe that if someone genuinely applies below given 7 pointers, sure will gain trust. 

He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted. – Lao Tzu

Lets imagine customer is also a boss.  Getting a good boss is mostly in our hands.  I say mostly, because there might be some bosses with whom you can not connect at all because their wavelength is quite different from yours.  In spite of it, I think one must take initiative to build trust and get connected with boss instead of waiting for boss to realize how invaluable and resourceful one is for the team and organization. 

So how to become trusted advisor?  Answer is – by cultivating trust.  My understanding is “Giving trust leads to earning trust“. You got to understand the uniqueness of every individual in terms of how one thinks and operates.

Here are 7 key pointers to build trust over time with your boss and work on addressing the questions –

  1. Be reliable and competent: can your boss count on you? can you get things done you are supposed to do?
  2. Be accountable: are you ready to own your mistakes? are you concerned about success of your organization?
  3. Learn to anticipate: do you know what questions will be asked on the subject? are you strategic thinker?
  4. Be solution oriented: are you just posing questions or problems? do you strive to help resolve issues?
  5. Seek feedback and be candid: are you engaging your boss? are you holding back something from your boss? 
  6. Be professional: are you delivering value to your boss/organization? are you respectful to your boss on his/her back?
  7. Be a good communicator: do you understand how your boss wants to know things? do you connect with your boss?

And what you do if you and your boss are on totally different wavelengths? Keep doing good job and move on when opportunity arises, simple is that.  Its nothing wrong with anyone, we all are unique and bring different perspectives to life and its ok to be on different wavelengths.

Hope you like the post, if you think there is any other valuable point to add, share it.  Thanks for reading and feedback.

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How To Make PowerPoint Presentations Powerful.. Part 2

May 22, 2010

Part II – Cause Of Boring PowerPoint Presentations

(This post is also published on pmhut.com as a complete article)

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. – Dorothy Nevill

  1. Knowledge: One does not know the subject inside-out. All talk is superficial.
  2. Passion: Presenter is not passionate about the topic. If presenter himself is not interested in the presentation, how others can be.
  3. Planning: Not enough planning done about presentation. Person may know a lot about the subject and also very passionate; but fails to plan or weave an interesting story for intended audience.
  4. Expectations: Misalignment between Audience’s understanding level and key message to be delivered. Not conveying what people will get out of the presentation in advance.
  5. Overkill: Giving too much information in one slide or single presentation.
  6. Too Fancy: Stunning images & background, fancy fonts, various special distract audience. Know your audience and know your field.
  7. Preparation: Not enough rehearsal, presentation not flowing smoothly gives indication as person is not prepared.

 Now we know the causes of boring PowerPoint presentation, in next post we will review –

Part III – How To Prepare? Putting Slides Together &  How To Improve Your Presentation


Communication Skills for Managers – Learning From Barak Obama

November 17, 2008

I was looking into posts on Mr. Barak Obama’s communication style and how it contributed towards Obama’s victory.  Did Obama address people in all 4 categories of DiSC Model?  These categories are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness

Each person in his/her category wants to hear in a specific manner.  Some people need direct answer while others need some encouragement and hope and so on.  Please see the table at the end of the post and read more about DiSC Model

While doing so, I found very interesting Wall Street Journal video on the topic titled  “Learning From Obama’s Effective Communication Skills“.
 

To summarize, what project manager can do –

  1. giving good positive message
  2. clear and compelling tone
  3. giving substance along with style
  4. speaking with confidence and authority
  5. not in hurry to speak- patience
  6. pause between sentences: at least 3-4 seconds
  7. stress the right words
  8. relate to people and places
  9. make it simple to comprehend
  10. identify what is not right with other approach

Here is the table what people mainly like to hear/communicate around- 

Major Category

Like to hear words and actions around

Dominance

challenge, power, direct answer, authority, assertive, active

Influence

empathetic, people focused, receptiveness, accepting

Steadiness

stability, methodical, calm response, careful approach, thoughtful

Conscientiousness

logic focused, skeptical, clarity and quality, questioning

What are your findings?  What did you learn? Lets share.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.


Know what to emphasize

May 23, 2008

PM Tips – 1

What points we emphasize make a big difference in our communications. 

How do we do that? We got to know the expectation of the audience and what we want to convey.  Over emphasizing something or emphasizing meager issues may dilute the effect of conversation. We develop this skill with experience, paying attention to the audience and listening how others do it.

Certainly there are key things that you want to emphasize.  Make sure what you want to emphasize is really relevant and audience has some clue about what you are talking.

Notice how you emphasize? Do you find yourself keep repeating what you want to communicate in different phrases or you cleverly divert every topic discussed and then associate to what you have in mind? 

Observe if you are getting your point across.  Use some relevant example to explain your point.  Do not give frustrated look. You may have to do more work to refine your point.

Thank you for reading. Any suggestions or feedback?


Cheese Moved? Doesn’t Matter.

March 5, 2008

We, as a professional, are hired by organizations to deliver results and perform. As time passes, our daily job becomes our universe.  We spend our energies resolving problems, improving processes, saving money and many other good things.  Sometimes we are ignorant and sometimes we are so busy handling all the situations at the job, we do not realize that whole world has changed and we are still there.  We find that new technologies, processes, ideologies, concepts and trends have taken over what we used to do.  And when we realize, then blame our employer for not guiding us, showing us the right path, etc.  Remember, we are professionals and professionals know all about their field of expertise.

 When I see clueless people in the situations when their cheese (i.e. work) is moved (or gone), I tell them to stop complaining but learn the lesson from it and take action. 

Here are 11 points I tell (and remind) people to avoid becoming obsolete

  1. Subscribe to professional/trade  magazines and journals and read ( or go to library, but stay up-to-date on what is happening).
  2. Bookmark and frequently checkout websites dealing with news & views related to your field of expertise.
  3. Read some good books on the subject.  Check Amazon.com’s ratings and views before buying. 
  4. Become member & get involved in professional organizations in your chosen field.
  5. Volunteer your time & services in your chosen field or for any good cause.
  6. Mentor and guide other people, help people grow, offer help selflessly.
  7. Attend seminars or conferences; it does not matter if you got to spend few hundreds from your own pocket and on yourself.
  8. Read some good self-help books on personal development and personal finance.
  9. Grow your network, if good people can not find you; you go out and find for your networking.  Interaction is the key.
  10. Always keep learning new things in your chosen field, and
  11. Change with time.

You will find out many successful people are already doing these above mentioned things to grow their professional network and knowledge base. 

I am certainly interested in what you got to say on this subject.  Everyone has unique experience and lets share our thoughts and learn from each other.

 Thank you for visiting and reading the post.  I appreciate it.  Have a good time.


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