16 Aug 2012
Lily Allen may not be an authority on business, but she hit the nail on the head with her honest, irreverent spin on a timeless mystery – “how to know what to do when you have no idea and you’re not prepared”. In her platinum selling song, she sings:
I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore,
And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore,
When do you think it will all become clear?
Everyone knows that we have been conditioned NOT to admit that we don’t know all of the right answers. Even though we know it’s not true, our teachers, bosses, politicians and even the media have modeled this “fake it until you make it” mentality. Since the mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event, acting ‘as if’ seems like the logical solution to temporary uncertainty, or does it?
“I don’t know” is a simple phrase. Simple and powerful at the same time. While there can be no doubt that to use it denotes uncertainty and the risk of embarrassment, with it comes an attribute that is far more rare and influential…authenticity!
Over the course of my life, I have been asked some difficult questions both personally and professionally – I’ve been put on the spot, caught unprepared and left exposed and vulnerable. Many times, I racked my brain to come up with the answer – a plausible response that hit the nail on the head or got me out of jail [metaphorically speaking] for free! Other times, I just got lucky.
But occasionally I must admit, “I just don’t know!” I simply cannot say for sure. I just don’t have the answer right now.
Sometimes admitting you don’t know can be the most empowering, intelligent, authentic and liberating response that you can offer. Compared to stumbling through a half baked idea, outright lying or trying to pull a cohesive response out of thin air, admitting you don’t know is a sane solution to this diabolical dilemma.
To be honest, none of us has “The Answer” to everything. If you think you do, chances are you know even less than you thought! If someone has taken the time to ask a question, seek your business advice, and placed their trust in your expertise, they deserve pearls of wisdom not propaganda.
In fact, in order to be a true leader and to earn authority, which is the foundation of your ability to influence others, it is simply not enough to be knowledgeable. You also need to be truthful. Therefore, in order to master the power of influence, you must establish yourself as both honest and powerful in your communications.
When in doubt, “I don’t know but I will find out” is the best answer.
Science has already proven that the brain does not know the difference between what is vividly imagined and reality. If we experience only a fraction of what is possible in terms of the stimuli that we notice or pay attention to, and our experiences are directly influenced by what we value, believe and expect, then it follows that by changing what is happening in our mind we can actually change our entire reality.
If you act as though you are courageous, then you will be courageous. If you act as though you are confident and take on the persona of someone who is confident, then you become confident immediately. Because our mind has such a profound influence on our external experience, adopting and making beneficial emotional states a regular habit is the first step to truly mastering your life.
One of the wonderful things about personal characteristics like confidence or preparedness is that if you pretend to have them, you have them immediately. Since the mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event, acting ‘as if’ is a logical and sensible solution to temporary uncertainty!
Because our mind has such a profound influence on our external experience, choosing to adopt beneficial emotional states is the first step to truly mastering your life. All that we are and have experienced to date is a result of what we have imagined to be true in our minds. If we are unhappy with the results, our experience can be changed as quickly as we can change our minds and imagine a new meaning.
25 Aug 2009
The definition of “flirt”, according to the dictionary is:
- to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions or
- to trifle or toy, as with an idea.
While many may jump to a pre-mature conclusion (no double entendre intended ), flirting is not synonymous with short skirts, sex, massages and unwarranted promotions etc. I would never advocate using overt sexuality to get business or a promotion. It simply isn’t appropriate, professional or effective. What I am speaking about is very simple – it is about two objectives (1) being memorable and (2) developing rapport with another person for the purposes of enhancing your work relationship.