I have been honored to work with some really smart people on a global basis. Many of them are those with whom I have had the pleasure of helping to be:
- More persuasive
- Better leaders
- More influential
- Higher performers
- More skilled at relationships
- Better communicators
- More skilled in reaching agreements
Most of these people are well-educated and are highly skilled in their scope of practice. They have a desire to be brilliant, smart, right, influential, respected, and admired. They often want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.
I recall how frequently during my formal education I endured waiting for brilliant people to get my attention. Many of my teachers and professors were routinely, incomprehensively boring, disengaged, passionless, and apparently waiting for it to be over.
It is difficult for me to think back at the leaders, teachers, professors, professionals, and people in charge who were truly memorable. It was a rather small group who really got my attention.
The effective people inspired me, challenged me to think, and helped me become a better person. They were entertaining, passionate, persuasive, intense, and full of common sense.
Being brilliant means that you want to be right, you want people to agree with you and think you are smart.
Being effective means that you want to inspire your audience to grow, to become responsive, be more thoughtful, remain open, and improve.
Do you want to be right and lobby for your point of view or would you rather your audience be engaged, thoughtful, and come to better conclusions?
What is going on with the people who want to be brilliant?
Many believe that if they are brilliant then:
- they must have all the answers
- they must be perfect (which is impossible, so that makes them feel inadequate)
- they must go to the best schools and universities
- they must have a deep knowledge and remarkable skills in all subjects
- they must be astute, knowledgeable, and ready with the answers to any possible questions that might be asked of them
- they must have done all the preparation to be considered smart, knowledgeable, and brilliant in the minds of others
Therefore, if they think they are brilliant, they will likely become self-consumed and perpetually concerned with how brilliant they are. They are making the focus about them rather than about their audience, clients, family, neighbors, etc.
How effective is that?
Most of us wait for them to stop talking about the gospel according to them!
If you are brilliant, then you are lobbying for what you want them to think about you. It is all about your message to them, what you want them to absorb, and getting them to ingest your message. You are pushing your gospel rather than inspiring your audience to receive and reflect on your message.
So what if you decide you now want to be effective?
- It is always about the relationship, only all the time!
- Focus on your relationship with them. Make it all about them!
- What kind of experience do you want them to have?
- What do you want them to remember?
- Be compelling
- Be candid
- Be funny
- Be entertaining
- Be seductive
- Involve them using their emotions
- Explain your experiences with candor
Find out what they want, what is important to them, and then give it to them! Ask them questions, get them involved, and have them participate.
Focus on common sense by:
- Clarifying what you will say
- Say it
- Summarize what you said (Remember, less is more.)
Ask them what got their attention. You become more interesting when you are interested. It is always about the relationship.
You become effective when you become memorable, which in turn improves your relationship with them.
It’s about your connection, your inspiration, their experience, the glue, and common sense.
Make it more about them than about you. How do you want to inspire them? How do you want them to make use of your message?
Life is really about touching people’s lives; when you do, your life gets touched in return.