— 30 Jul 2016

StepITUp

Things Learned

Some quick notes on things I’ve learned throughout the past few months, in no particular order.

1 | Attitude is contagious

I still believe that everyone spends too much time thinking about themselves that they don’t have time to think deeply about what other people do. However, people do notice what you do. And when it comes to attitude, most of the time they don’t only notice — they’re affected too, whether they realize it or not.

This is especially important when you’re in a team, which is a good news as much as it is a bad news. This means that you can affect your entire team just by managing how you act. Yet how you act — whether it is actually related to your team or not, such as pouting the entire day because of problems at home — can affect an entire team, intended or not.

Does this mean that at some point we have to pretend? To me, the answer is yes, but probably that’s just my choice. However, I also believe that it’s not necessary to pretend all the time — there are situations when honesty is really the best policy. The takeaway is that attitude is contagious, and therefore we should be really conscious about how we act. It could be the face we’re showing, the words we say, or the things we do. Perhaps it seems like no one is paying attention, but it actually really matters.

2 | If there’s only one book on management that you can read in your entire life…

Let it be Andy Grove’s High Output Management.

Of course, I really hope that you get to read more than one book on management in your life. It would be too naive of me to say that the book covers everything (and I don’t even know how everything looks like in management, or anything really), but it’s my favorite book on management so far: no jargon, no fancy catchphrases. Just a collection of anecdotes and advice from one of the greatest CEOs of our time.

3 | First question to ask

Sometimes when working together with people, we get too caught up in focusing on the differences that we have and trying to figure out which one is right (or more right), rather than achieving our actual objective.

This is something that I’ve learned just recently — it really took me a long time to realize this, which is a total shame. Living in a country which motto means “Unity in Diversity”, the idea that “differences can make things better” seems like a no-brainer. What I seem to have forgotten is that differences aren’t merely differences in religions, races, or languages. People can have differences in ideas and how they act and react to certain things as well.

Before bashing someone else for not acting the way I expect them to, I learned that it is best to say to myself: “now, how do we make things better from here?” with here being the current situation that we’re at, with all of the differences between us. Only when we have discussed and agreed that here won’t work out, we then go to the next step — whatever it is that we have agreed upon.

4 | Meeting 101

I’ve been through meetings where I wasn’t sure if whatever it is we were talking about would work out (although there were very few of these occasions). There would be this whisper in my head that says, “I don’t think we will come upon a good conclusion.” Early on, when that happened, I’d quietly give up. I ended up not giving my all to the said meeting: I stopped talking even when I could, I stopped trying to be convincing in negotiations. I just stopped trying.

In one of those meetings that I had sometime ago, we decided to continue the conversation through e-mail because there wasn’t enough time.

Little did I know that we would actually close a deal. It didn’t even seem possible at that time when I was meeting them, but later we actually found some ways to work it out. We ended with a good deal, but perhaps it could have been better had I not “quietly given up”. So, give your all. Just pretend that it will work, on the condition that you’re giving your all. You never know.

Originally posted here.