It’s amazing how we all need some reminders from time to time of what it’s “the path”, the way to follow, the goal.
Often we find ourselves trapped in work situations where we would like to improve an efficient process, yet we feel we don’t have the power to influence that process. No matter what, our advices don’t get through.
Why is that? There are many reasons, but how could we change it?
I was listening to this wonderful interview of Jocko Willing, author of “Extreme Ownership”, and he reminded me a couple of things I knew back then that are still useful today.
First and foremost: if you want to change a process, a part of the company, whatever: Earn the right to speak.
Be impeccable, follow the rules, be the absolute best, do your best work.
You must become the example to follow, the perfect employee not in the sense of pleasing the bosses, but in the sense of quality of work, of results, all of them.
Second: If you have a problem you want to be fixed be sure to give a solution.
Keep in mind though that the solution is not enough. The solutions should be feasable, applicable, it should be something within reach.
And if possible: You should be sure that the solution will work.
How? Test it before, try it, find ways to use the method beforehand so that you can confidently say that it’ll work.
Third: Once you earned the right to speak and have a solution, now it’s all about timing.
As humans there are times we are more inclined to listening and understanding. Such times are influenced by how many things we have in our mind, what are our priorities and so on. Try to find a good moment when the boss or whoever can fully listen to you with no distraction. It could be a meeting or a coffe break, you name it.
Fourth: Give the solution with humility.
Not fake humility, real humility.
If you can’t be true, then it’s useless. Humility is key to this because nobody wants an asshole or a “I know everything” guy. Be humble, propose, be honest. Try to frame the solution from their point of view, listing benefits and risk.
Don’t hide risks, but be sure to explain what will come if there’s a benefit.
Fifth: If it fails, start from 0 again and do better.