Friday, July 11, 2014

Can You Be Out Smarted? Sure!

Gwynne Shotwell recently spoke at the Women 2.0 Conference stage. She said one really important thing, which was: "You can't control whether you're the smartest person in the room, but you can certainly control whether you're the most prepared." I couldn’t agree more.

It is important that we always learn from others. There are always going to be occasions, even when you are the boss, where other people are smarter than you and have more insight on you. This is hard to overcome for a number of reasons, but even more difficult of a pill to swallow when an employee knows more about your business and industry than you. So, what do you do in these situations?

First, don’t let your ego get the best of you. If you think you are going to be the smartest person in the room in every situation- you do need to work on taking that ego of yours down a notch. Once you do, follow these steps.

1. Be overly prepared. Like Ms. Shotwell said, you can’t ever be too prepared. Have data for meetings available on a note pad in front of you, so you only have to glance at it without admitting to using your smart phone to look up citations.

2. Read. Yes, read. Commit to one book a month on your industry and make sure they are recent book. Books over six months old are almost obsolete in many industries. Stay on the cutting edge of things by reading the most up to date material available.

3. Reach out to others within your industry, outside of your company, for coffee. Pick their brains and ask questions. This way, when you return to the office, you have an outside perspective and additional knowledge.

4. Ask questions of those in your company who are smarter than you. Ask then the who, what, where and why to get their opinion. This tactic will help you learn how they think, operate and what it is you need to study up on.

I hope this insight has helped if you feel you are struggling with this issue.

Until Monday,

Twyla N. Garrett

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