Don’t Be Quite So Smart – Relate!

There are a couple of prongs to this Brilliance Nugget.

  1. One is how we show up in our daily lives.
  2. The other is how we can be effective when teaching what we know (our brilliance) to others.

There is something profound that both of these prongs have in common: Sure, it is good to be smart; brilliant even. Yet, none of this lands with the other person if they can’t relate to you or what you share.

Let’s look at the first part.

How Do You Show Up In Everyday Life?

It doesn’t matter whether you are talking to a neighbor, a person at a networking event, or a potential business prospect.

Forming a connection and relating to each other is first.

Let’s take a few key ideas out of Dale Carnegie’s toolbox (“How to win friends and influence people”):

  1. Answer the other person’s silent question, “What’s in it for me?”
  2. Make the other person feel genuinely interested in them and think they are important.
  3. Encourage the other person to talk. Listen carefully to them.
  4. Do your best to understand the other person’s viewpoints.
  5. Praise is more effective than criticism. Praise makes our relationships warmer. It inspires us to do better.
  6. Set the bar high. People will likely strive to meet it. Most people love praise and hate to disappoint someone who believes in them.

I have to confess that I have violated some of these rules at times.

  • I was too focused on talking about myself, my work, and my mission.
  • I may not have thought well enough about what was in it for the other person. For that, you have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes as best as you can.
  • I have sometimes caught myself thinking about what to say next instead of fully listening. People who listen are so rare nowadays; you will stand out when you do it.

For example, my listening skills are typically quite good when I am coaching. But then, at times, my family may point out that I’m not listening equally well to them. Yikes. Also, not all networking moments are created equal. Often, they are wonderful. However, sometimes, I miss the mark. For sure, all of the above points are a work in progress.

Let’s look at the second piece.

How Can You Be Effective When Teaching What You Know To Others?

What is remarkable is that the list of things you need to consider is about the same:

  1. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Why would this person want to learn what you have to offer?
  2. Make the other person feel you are genuinely interested in them and think they are important. That means you have to understand who they are and what motivates them.
  3. Encourage the other person to talk. In live training, listen carefully to them. You can get them to think and ink their thoughts through appropriate assignments in online training. The shortest assignment that will serve the purpose is usually best. Then, if possible, it is fabulous to offer the opportunity to share those thoughts with you. You can meet in person or, perhaps more efficiently, via video conference. This hybrid model of teaching your brilliance via an online resource and providing listening and coaching is fantastic!
  4. Do your best to understand the other person’s viewpoints. Again, you have to understand the other person. Where are they at with understanding the subject you are teaching? What else do they want to know?
  5. Praise your proteges. They will thank you for it and work even harder. Acknowledge their progress. Pick them up when stall or need help – even if they are not asking for it. They may feel embarrassed that they have fallen behind. Your generosity here goes a long way to building loyalty and, ultimately, excellence.
  6. Set the bar high – or at least high enough. People will likely strive to meet it. Test what works and what doesn’t. Find the spots in your training where people need extra help or tend to fall off the track.

Isn’t it wonderful that what works to “win friends and influence people” works equally well in transferring your brilliance?!?

I’m Curious

What are your experiences with these six key points concerning either of these two application areas:

  1. Everyday life and business development?
  2. Transferring your brilliance (expertise, knowledge, and wisdom) to others?

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