Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2015 Contents ness case is not necessarily to win approval
for your proposal ---it s to provide enough
information that the committee can make
an informed decision. But don t just say
thank you and walk away.
Always ask "Why?" If you know precisely
why the decision-makers rejected your case,
then you ll be able to follow up appropriately.
Whether you ask in the meeting or in a
subsequent email, don t pick a fight or try
to change the outcome. Instead, seek to
understand the reasoning. You might say,
"Thanks for letting me know about your
decision. I d love any feedback you have on
why the project wasn t approved."
(Adapted from "HBR Guide to Building
Your Business Case," by Amy Gallo.)
for the perfect job
Many people don t advance in their careers
because they re holding out for that perfect
job. But perfection is an odd goal when it
comes to our professional lives. We learn
not to limit ourselves to perfect when it
comes to choosing partners and houses. So
why are we obsessed with the idea of a job
that will fulfill all our fantasies about work?
When we focus on the ideal role, we fall
into an all-or-nothing trap; giving ourselves
permission to do absolutely nothing. Holding
out for perfect means hoping and waiting,
but doing little. But actively reaching out
for "good enough" can transform your career.
Find work that inspires you and is reachable.
If you have an idea about what your dream
job might be, go find out what it feels like
from the inside.
Don t allow employer branding or media
portrayals to make you starry-eyed. Get
firsthand information from those in the
(Adapted from "Stop Fantasising About
the Perfect Job," by John Lees.)
@2015 Harvard Business School Pub-
lishing Corp. Distributed by the New York
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 30 • 2015
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
Don't let your default
reactions get the best of you
We all have default behaviours. And the way we
handle these automatic reflexes during meetings,
conversations, negotiations, conflicts, etc, can be the
difference between success and failure.
Say you butt heads with a co-worker over a project s
next steps. If you jump to defend your position, you
might fail to hear the other person s side, ending up
in an erratic, emotional dispute. How do you override
automatic reactions like these?
First, know what triggers your emotional or com-
petitive side. Then make a list of your default behav-
iours, like interrupting, becoming aggressive or passive,
taking ownership of ideas, micromanaging or judging
Then anticipate them. If careful listening is your
goal---but frequent interruption is your default---
rehearse a plan for better listening before your high-
conflict meeting. And don t schedule these conver-
sations for times when your self-control is low, such
as right before lunch or at the end of the day.
(Adapted from "How to Override Your Default Reac-
tions in Tough Moments," by Lee Newman.)
A breathing exercise
can help you refocus
In order to get work done and perform well, we
need to be able to fully concentrate. Anxiety and
stress diminish our ability to focus; and in high-
pressure environments or during periods of change,
it can be difficult to get these under control. You
need to find a way to ignore the stress and get into
a calm state so you can achieve your goals. Here s
a simple method for staying calm under stress: Every
morning before you go to work, carve out time to
simply focus on your breath; perhaps a 10- or 20-
Whenever your mind starts to wander (maybe you
find yourself thinking, "What am I going to do?"
about something), just let that go and refocus on
your breath. This sharpens attention and calms the
mind. The key is to practice routinely so it gets easier
to achieve a state of calm and concentration.
(Adapted from "How to Concentrate Under Pressure,"
by Daniel Goleman.)
Bring meetings to a
A common complaint among managers is that
despite holding so many meetings, few meetings
actually produce results. "We keep talking about the
same issue over and over, but nothing seems to ever
happen!" The issue? Most meetings lack closure; the
necessary link between meeting and impact. To delib-
erately and effectively close a meeting:
• Check for alignment: Ask, "Is everyone OK with
where we ended up?" to surface any questions or
concerns, and to ensure that everyone is on the same
• Agree on next steps: Ask, "What needs to get
done before our next meeting?" Nail down specific
commitments, concrete deadlines and follow-up
• Reflect on what you accomplished: Say, "These
are the five things I m taking away from this," to val-
idate the conversation and the team.
• Check for acknowledgments: Did anyone con-
tribute to the conversation in a way that needs to be
highlighted? Give people credit.
(Adapted from "The Right Way to End a Meeting,"
by Paul Axtell.)
Get feedback on
a failed business case
What do you do if your business case fails to win
First off, don t despair that your project wasn t
approved. You ve contributed to the success of the
company by helping it identify that the project wasn t
a worthwhile investment. The real purpose of a busi-
Links Archive July 29th 2015 July 31st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page