January 16th, 2012
People should do more of the work they are really good at. Soon you are going to practice in the wild. I will now explain how I practice, but first a little practice at home. I have just introduced myself to a young woman and quickly explained what I do at work. Then I focus on her. She tells me what she really likes about her job. She is making a living as an unlicensed boxer. That is, she does illegal bare knuckle boxing matches, and makes money from the audience doing illegal gambling. She tells me what the work really entails and what the most important skills are. I am listening between the lines for something she is not happy about. In other words her unmet need. I have three questions lined up:
Questions about peoples jobs:
- What do you like best about your job?
- What areas of responsibility do you have?
- How does a typical week look for you?
If you take your job seriously, chances are you have something you wish to improve. Some tasks you could do without. A colleauge who you could do without. Or a Bad Boss. It turns out this fella did not like her boss. She got so fed up with her boss, that she arranged to have him killed. This might work out in the movies. Most others could do with some creative help in finding a more productive solution. You can help them. First you must find out what the person you are talking to wants to change about her job.This is how I experience it. I get to hear a lot about peoples problems. Some times I wonder if people take me for a roman-catholic priest, they are confessing to. It often reminds me of the movie Boondock Saints. The brothers confess their sins to the local priest.
Why do the brothers confess their sins to the priest? My opinion is that they trust the priest to never tell anything to anybody. This kind of trust is what I aim to build. You think this is overkill? I beg to differ. Check out the book below. It is written to help the reader do the work they love and get paid well. You should have the same intention as the book. This is what I do. I have the intention of helping the person I am talking to do more of the work she loves. Some people believe me and they start talking.
Tasks of the Hour
- Explain clearly what you do for a living in two concise sentences.
- Practice in front of the mirror.
- Think about the thing you like best about the job while you say the sentences. This will help your feelings for the job shine through.
- Use a lively body language, mimic and tone of voice. Look into your own eyes in the mirror while you practice.
- Write down three questions about peoples work and practice them out loud. It is the questions and the way you listen that convince people you want to help them do more of the work they love to do.
- Practice to be a better listener. Check out this TED video with five ways to practice your listening skills.
Booktip of the Day:
Inspiration for this blogpost comes from John Williams, author of Screw Work, Let’s Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for It.
Next blogpost is How to Get Her to Tell You What She Does For Fun?
Last blogpost was You must Practice to Feel Peoples Pain.