Only once did I ever meaningfully predict the future.
In college I took an American politics class, and that semester also happened to be a presidential election, so a major assignment was to pick a state, use the various systems and formulas we learned about, and try to determine what percentage of the vote each candidate would get in that state.
Our grade depended on how close we got, and how good our two-page explanation was regarding how we derived our answer… which we had to submit almost a full week before the election itself.
The morning after the election I opened the Washington Post to the state-by-state results and scanned down the page looking for New Jersey.
There it was, in the Post, just as it was in my paper:
- Bill Clinton – 43%
- George Bush – 41%
- Ross Perot – 16%
My eyes did not deceive me – I had pulled off a miracle!
In class the next day, the professor handed back our papers one by one. When I got mine, there was a great big “A+” and a single comment:
“Are you going to go into the election business or just play the lottery?”
(I did take the idea to heart, and bought a lottery ticket that afternoon. But apparently I had already used up my one “free miracle” ticket for the day.)
But there are other times nowadays when I’m also pretty confident in my ability to predict the future. For example, I always know how it’s going to end whenever I hear someone say one of the following:
- “They made their offer so I already know what they are and aren’t willing to give me.”
- “I’ve dropped enough hints; it should be obvious to anyone paying attention.”
- “I don’t want to come across as rude or demanding.”
- “She/he should know me well enough by now to know what I need/like.”
Unsurprisingly, the result is always the same: That person is about to be very disappointed.
No matter how justified they think they are in their assertions and choices, they are playing the “mind reading game,” expecting others to know what they want, or believing they know what others want.
Either way, the one thing they did NOT do was clearly state their desire, request, need, or even question outright. And that’s just asking for failure.
That’s why one major theme of this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence podcast is how to be clear on what you need and want, in order to get the best results possible, and help others be the best they can be.
My guest is Christine Proffitt, Executive Vice President of Sales for Integrity Staffing Solutions, a company that optimizes the workforce for mid-sized through Fortune 100 companies, particularly in the online retail space.
Christine was crystal-clear about the fact that whether you are the person who is seeking the new job, the business owner doing the hiring, or any other stakeholder group, there’s one way to get what you want:
You have to be clear on your own needs and preferences first, and be prepared to clearly and succinctly state what they are. Nobody is going to read your mind, and if you aren’t clear on them and able to articulate them to others, how can you expect anyone else to figure them out?
Some other terrific tips Christine shared in the episode are:
- The six-step process she follows when she’s preparing a pitch or presentation for her CEO and other senior executives
- Her four-step “D.A.S.H.” process for having an accountability conversation with an employee
- How she works with her leadership team to manage a 60% annual growth target in today’s crazy economy
It can be hard to advocate for yourself effectively, to frame your argument clearly and deliver it in a way that is persuasive, compelling, and inspiring. So I’m excited to give you a sneak peek into a new, upcoming opportunity to help you do exactly that.
The simple truth is that I’m getting more requests for private coaching than my calendar can handle, and I always want to serve as many people as possible, so I’m sharing with you an opportunity to take advantage of something I almost never offer:
Starting in July, I’ll be leading a “Speaking to Influence” small group coaching program including:
- Maximum 10 participants
- Monthly live group coaching workshops via Zoom
- Expert guest speakers
- Monthly live Q&A sessions
- A chance to work through the entire Speaking to Influence curriculum with performance feedback (Have you read the book yet? You’ll get a free bonus copy with membership)
- Free access to the entire “Virtual Influence” online program to ensure you look, sound and feel as confident and professional on screen as you are in person
- An accountability partner and private WhatsApp group to build community and momentum
- Personalized bonus videos and exclusive content
- Year-long program, starting July 2023
- And more!
Registration will open in April, so stay tuned – there are only 10 spaces, so once they’re full, that’s it!
Feel free to email me with questions about the program for now – and remember, if there’s something you want to know or share, be clear in making the ask. It’s the only way to get what you want!
Don’t forget to register for the next LinkedIn Live with Damon D’Amore, “Winning Stakeholder Confidence in Times of Crisis” on Friday 3/17. In this session, Damon will reveal the three pillars of crisis leadership and how they must be communicated in order to secure personal and organizational competitive advantages in today’s global business landscape.