What would it look like, what would it feel like, if you achieved the success that you have always wanted: in your business, in your career, and in your life? This is the question we recently posed to two groups of international business professionals in the Rhein-Neckar region.
Some of the workshop participants had specific ideas of what their ideal success would be. Others were blocked, and only knew that they wanted a change, but were not sure what that change looked like.
Living and working in today’s demanding global environment is such a challenge, it can be almost impossible to know how, where and when to start. Very often, it’s not easy to assess our situation and find the way forward on our own.
You might work for a multinational corporation or you might have your own business. Perhaps you are dreaming of making the leap from employee to entrepreneur? Or are you a leader in that multinational corporation, with dozens of employees looking to you for guidance, stability, innovation and inspiration?
The way forward
The answer to ‘when’ is easy: Start now! You’ll never regret taking action today. If you don’t, in a year from now, you’ll wish you had.
Now the tough question: How to get started…
Get clear on your vision
Begin by creating a clear vision for your career, your business and for yourself. What do you want to BE, DO and HAVE? And how would this make a difference in your life?
The mind strives to align outside and inside perceptions, so having a precise image of the where, the how, and the what, is like having hologram that the mind wants to materialise. The clearer you are about the results you want to achieve, the easier it will be to accomplish them.
Think about managing a specific project, building a prototype, or cooking dinner. Without clarity of a) what you want, b) what you need to accomplish, and c) what steps to take, you might end up with a dish you don't actually want to eat. The same is true for your career or business life.
To get clarity, we can use various strategies depending on the need and the importance of the underlying question. The more vague the image in our heads is, the more creative we need to be to uncover it. Creating vision boards, using improv theatre or core value modeling, working with action painting or going on mental journeys - these are only some of the more creative techniques you can use.
If you already have a more specific idea of where your journey should go, using tools like a business model canvas or guided journaling are helpful to get to the bottom of it.
Answering questions that have an essential influence on the quality of your life is an “inside job”, yet even more effective when you have someone beside you to clear the fog and then to plan the next steps with you.
Whether it is a clear image of a result in your mind, a concept you want to present, or a tangible result you want to share with the world, the next step would be to focus on how you communicate your vision.
Enhance your communication competence
Today we have no choice but to be communication experts. It’s the foundation we use to communicate our vision, and it’s the foundation for building the strong, trustful relationships we need to be successful. And that is how we build a successful career or business.
After all, “people buy from people they know, like and trust”. This sales phrase is more relevant today than ever before. People not only buy from people they know, like and trust. They also champion, support, mentor, take action, promote and recommend people they know like and trust. When we can persuade others, we move towards fulfilling our vision.
Understanding a bit of communication theory helps to identify where the challenges and possible miscommunications can arise from. Mehrabian’s research indicates that meaning is derived 55% from body language, 38% from voice, and only 7% from words. Experience indicates that this idea is relatively true, but less so for non-native speakers of English. It is far easier to communicate your key messages when you are face-to-face with your business partner (or boss, client, etc.) than by email.
It’s imperative then to identify your own communication skill gaps and focus your efforts on improving them. Whether it’s asking effective questions, honing your listening skills, writing stakeholder-oriented documents or presenting to internal or external groups – communicating clearly, concisely and persuasively is a valuable skill that can be learned. And you can have fun while learning it!
The keys to success
Clarity of vision and effective communication skills are critical to ensuring your success. Without excellent communication skills, it’s simply not possible to bring your vision to life. That’s why we focus on strategies, techniques and actions you can implement immediately.
The combination of teaching and implementing vision and communication strategies is what we found to be very powerful and practical at the same time.
In both recent dream.believe.achieve workshops, we worked with participants to:
We worked through various exercises together, exchanging ideas and expertise, and really dove into each participant’s individual situations. Each participant left the workshop with their own customized, individual plan for success.
The final stage of any workshop or coaching results in a commitment to action. Taking action is the ONLY way to move forward. We ask our participants to commit to actions and outcomes. We also ask them to assess their own commitment on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being 100% committed. If their answer is a 7 or above, we feel confident they are on their way to making change and creating a career or business by design, not default.
Innovation and leadership
For entrepreneurs, this is an excellent way to find your unique selling proposition, to define or refine your service, and to learn how to connect with your perfect customer.
For employers, it’s an skilful opportunity to bring your team together in a workshop environment, and create a culture of innovation within the team.
Leadership comes from within. It can be nurtured. It can be learned. It can be coached. But it should not be left to chance.
Find the next dream.believe.achieve workshop here. (link to workshop or Xing event) https://www.xing.com/events/dream-achieve-1775957
Tracie Marquardt, Quality Assurance Communication, www.qacommunication.com
Gisela Backe, Evolving You Art Design, www.evolvingyouartdesign.com
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