Don't be that person...


Ever had one of those guests to dinner that brings nothing with them for the host… wines and dines all night and doesn’t bat an eyelid as they wave goodnight on their way out the door? I’m thinking most of us have met that person.

Professionally, turning up with nothing but a blank mind, and blank notepad is no different.

Right now in the workplace, turning up with no prep, no insight or ideas on a constructive way forwards - is just not enough if you’re going to assist your employer or support your own business on the pathway to Post COVID recovery .

As a consultant, we’re expected to ‘hit the ground running’ and arrive with solutions – sometimes the expectation to have immediate answers is unrealistic – but that’s what our clients pay us for – our expertise, our focus and being present to support their teams during times of pressure and peak resourcing requirements.

At all levels of business, and as head counts are being scrutinized with Jobkeeper soon to end, it’s going to be important for all of us in the workforce to be proactive, useful and demonstrate our value.

Some useful tips that I've found useful in boosting effectiveness when working in uncertain and pressured circumstances

  • Ahead of planning meetings and workshops, focus on finding evidence to help you formulate your hunches – pressured time-frames may only allow limited time, so put it to good use and reference facts
  • Sometimes, knowing where to start is really challenging, so ask yourself the question, at the end of this process, what would be the ideal outcome? Float that end goal with your team and once agreed, work backwards with your planning 
  • To be helpful in times of pressure – understand that you don’t need to have all of the answers in order to contribute to a positive outcome. Yes, you need to be informed , but you don’t need to know everything in order to help progress solutions.
  • Don’t be scared to be a vocal part of the discovery process – chances are, when you’re working through matters requiring problem solving, others in your team will be grappling with similar questions and concerns

If 2020 has taught us anything in terms of business practices, it’s the importance of honing our skills to be effective problem solvers and team players at a time of constant change and high pressure. Highlight your value and usefulness – come to the table with insight and provide value - don’t be that person.

Anne Baker is founder and director of Melbourne based marketing consultancy, Two Crowns Marketing Communications. 

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