Posts Tagged ‘Business’|
Friday, May 28th, 2010
Being back to work after a year of maternity leave actually feels pretty good. I miss my little man but I do think we can be better parents when we are not parents 24/7. Everybody needs a little adult conversation and an outlet to broaden horizons and stretch the intellectual envelope, whether that happens to be at work, university or when volunteering.
I was in the OR today doing cataract surgery. This is what I love doing and it feels great to be back. It was an odd day today because I had never before met any of the 15 people I was operating on. They were all seen, assessed and booked for surgery by my locum while I was off on maternity leave.
I had to think of a way to connect with these people in the short 1-2 minutes I have to converse with them before we bring them in to do the surgery. “Hi I’m Dr. Anderson and I will be cutting into your eye” probably wouldn’t do it. How do the best communicators and connectors do it? If we observe people with a real talent for connecting with others we will see that they do similar things in a similar order in the first 60 seconds of meeting another individual. The most successful people are masters at connecting.
A recent study done at Stanford University found that the number one factor in determining the success of students graduating from their MBA program was social connection- an ability to make others trust, respect and like them quickly. I find it so interesting that this ability trumps skill or intellectual prowess.
How the Most Successful People Make People Comfortable in the First 60 Seconds
1) Eye contact. This is critical to building trust with the individual you are interacting with. A great exercise is to determine what colour the eyes are of anybody that you just meet. In trying to figure this out you cannot help but make the necessary eye contact that will deepen the connection. As an eye surgeon, you would think this comes naturally but I still find this tip really helpful in new encounters.
4) Lead with your heart. Physically and figuratively. Have an open stance so your heart is pointing at the individual. Also speak from the heart and be authentic in everything you say and do.
5) Lean in to listen to someone and nod attentively. Always make people feel that what they have to offer is important to you.
6) Mirror body language. This often makes the other person feel more comfortable. For instance if someone puts their hand on their chin, do the same.
7) Find common ground. There is always something that can link you. If nothing else the weather or sports are good ice breakers.
So by consciously thinking about my approach and being deliberate yet natural and authentic I was able to make a connection with all of my patients so that they could come into surgery feeling comfortable with my ability as a surgeon and comfortable with the surgery. Building trust quickly is very valuable in medicine and business as well as in life.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
By Dr. Carolyn Anderson, MD
Meg Whitman was the CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008, growing the company from a business with 30 employees to a business with 15,0000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenues during her tenure. She has an esteemed 30 year career in business and is one of the most respected and successful businesswomen in the world. She holds the distinction of being one of the first women to be a self-made billionaire.
She recently wrote a book called, The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life, I found this book interesting, uplifting and refreshing.
Meg Whitman discusses the challenge of balancing career and family life with humor and honesty. She also describes with candor the values such as integrity, authenticity and courage that drove her leadership and her strategic success. She begins the book with a simple yet unfortunately uncommon question “What is the right thing to do?” and from there she goes on to describe the 10 core values that could steer anyone to success in business and personal life.
Meg Whitman’s Top 10 Core Values:
1) Trust that people are basically good
2) Take Action
3) Be Authentic
4) Conserve resources
5) Be Accountable
Trust That People Are Basically Good
Meg believes strongly in leading with old fashioned basic values. And then by implementing the communication and networking powers of modern technology you can unleash the “Power on Many”. It was refreshing to see that she believed value focused management was a great way to lead, that people are basically good, to respect everyone as a unique individual, and to believe that everyone has something to contribute. Instead of seeing the digital age as isolating she feels technology properly managed can amplify humanity in extraordinary ways.
The bias for action is a huge component of success. But it alone is not enough. It must be paired with the analytical skill of iteration (the process of developing by improving). This combination insures that you don’t wait until everything is perfect to take action. If you try to anticipate all the problems in advance the cost of delay will be too high.
The topic of authenticity resonates throughout the book. Make sure that what you do in life aligns with who you are.
Conserving resources is crucial for business success. An efficient organization runs lean. Make sure you analyze the value of everything.
Results do matter and you need to be accountable. Values although important are not enough for success. To be a success you must identify a goal with a measurable outcome and hit that goal, every day, every month, every year.
Listening is the most important communication skill. Everyone has something to contribute if you take the time to hear them. If you really listen the emotional components of any enterprise will resonate. You can more deeply connect with people’s hopes and dreams.
Focus your attention. Always realign your efforts with your core mission and strategy.
Teamwork is paramount. You can get people to do what you want not because you tell them to but rather because you listen and enlist them in your vision. Always validate what people in your team did first and then work with them to make it better.
Be brave. Most things worth doing are hard. You need to stretch goals but take the larger goals and break them down into smaller manageable goals.
Be flexible. You can’t predict every eventuality. You often must go with the flow and adapt to the changing landscape.
Meg Whitman closes the book with a mention of her interest in politics and how all success in life demands constant reinvention. Read Meg’s book, The Power of Many, to learn more about how aligning with basic values such as trust, authenticity and courage can lead to great business and personal success.
*Disclosure Policy* I purchased my own copy of this book and I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this review. If you decide to purchase the book from Amazon using the above links I will receive a small commission.