The Bible clearly warns us that pride goes before a fall. I know some of you don?t believe in God, but you must admit the Bible is full of sage advice. This one piece is no exception.
There is clearly a difference in being a ?Guru? and a ?Know-It-All.? Be careful not to cross that line; it can make the difference between amazing success and failure. For example, I used to hang out with some very smart people that always had a kind word and helpful advice. We could chat for hours about many different subjects. Sometimes helpful advice was shared but most times not. When we went to chats together everyone had equal time to converse. Then one day, something changed. They began to dominate all conversations and chats. I began to feel like it was their way or no way at all. Could they possibly be right about everything? When would the other chat room attendees get a word in edgewise? ?We are on a mission to change the world,? was their retort when anyone suggested their means were not the best or even the only way of accomplishing the intended goal.
Another example I recall is the time when another person I care about was critically lambasted for not agreeing with the speaker’s concepts. Being rude to your audience is not the method to win friends and influence people. This sort of thing happens when the speaker forgets that they are the person most responsible for clearly relating their message.
A conversation is a two way street. It is when you get to the point that you begin to feel that if someone else doesn?t understand you it is the fault of not listening to what you are saying and not that you couldn?t have better stated your message. This is when you make the proverbial turn and you begin to lose credibility in the eyes of those watching from the sidelines as well as with those whom you are conversing.
Business communication coach and friend, Felicia Slattery, owner of Communication Transformation states, ?When you are the speaker, it?s your job to be sure your audience fully understands your message. After all, as a business person, your message is a reflection of you and your business. If you present your message clearly so your audience can follow you, then you?re showing that audience you are knowledgeable, helpful, and professional. Allowing your audience to provide feedback and using that feedback as a way to make your presentation better is the hallmark of a competent communicator and good business person overall.?
There is a fine line between humility and timidity too. A little too much in either way and you end up failing at every turn. For example, hiding in a corner taking it all in or ?lurking? on a network chat board will add to the number of places you can say you have been in the daily course of business. However, don?t expect to get any referrals. Unless you openly participate the other members won?t even know you are there. And it goes without saying, if they don?t know you are there you will not gain any benefit from attending.
Put on your party dress and shoes and get out there on the dance floor. Make friends first and the business will come. Then focus on your strengths but don?t overdo it. Offer advice when asked in a spirit of love and kinship.
No matter what stance you take be certain of one thing; your reputation will precede you. Promoting your own importance leads to stumbling. But focusing on and meeting the essential needs of others gives us the healthy approach of the wise and successful entrepreneur.