Did you catch Donald Sterling’s recent comments? Sterling, in case you took a long nap over the weekend, is the (almost) former owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He was recorded sharing – shall we say – some rather unfortunate personal opinions. They say timing is everything so let’s learn from this unfortunate situation. The reality is that Sterling’s basketball players are paid millions. They have a job to do and pride is on the line – especially during the playoffs. They may not like playing for him, but they’ll likely take the court and do their jobs. But us normal people, on the other hand, we don’t have it that easy. The people we encounter must like us or, at the very least, tolerate us. If not we lose jobs, clients and customers. We lose our livelihoods. That’s just the way it works! (This post is a little (a lot) tongue and cheek but I’d like to share 5 (Not-so-Surprisingly) Simple Ways to Get Others to Genuinely Dislike You! De-valuing others’ opinions There’s a reason why it says professional on your business card. It’s because you’re extraordinarily talented. You’ve probably forgotten more about the widget business than most others will ever know. If you want their opinions, you’ll ask for them, but until that century comes, they should keep their opinions to themselves. NO: One of the best ways to build, cultivate and maintain strong relationships is by simply saying – “What do you think?” Including more thoughts will increase the pool of outcomes – which ultimately will lead to better decision-making. Assuming everyone else is lazy You don’t waste time like they do. You’ve got the drive and initiative that they’ll never have. While they’re following the cast of The Bachelor on Twitter, your cutting complicated deals – the type of dynamic transactions that legends are made of. You master stuff they’ll never understand; even if you put it in terms most 3 year olds would understand. NO: Assumptions are very dangerous. Everybody brings something to the table and if you’re a manager, and someone seems unmotivated, perhaps it’s because you haven’t found a way to motivate them – YET. To question their drive is dangerous as we all show initiative in different ways. Electing not to give praise and recognition If they need praise, they should call their mother or father or ask their dog how they’re doing. Your not paid to be a touchy feely person. You’re paid to sell widgets and isn’t their paycheck enough? The last time I checked, there wasn’t a “Bring Your Self-Esteem Issues To Work Day”. NO: All among us are people who desperately need your support, or a smile or a kind word. Maybe it’s the barista at Starbucks or the lady at the cleaners that puts the right amount of starch in your shirt every time. So notice and acknowledge. If you get in the in the habit of praising and recognizing at times when it doesn’t matter as much, then you won’t miss opportunities to praise and recognize when it DOES matter. Turning a blind eye to people’s stories Yes, you’ve read that people communicate with stories; that they don’t spit out facts, but, instead, they have to express themselves with words. Spare me! Stories are for children’s nap-time. Look, you want the facts and the facts only. Sure, you could observe their emotional cues like voice inflection and facial expressions—while pretending to listen to them but…talk about a waste of time. NO: Everybody (EVERYBODY) has a story and, similar to asking for one’s opinion, saying what’s your story (and actually listening) is pretty high up there on one’s totem pole. Thinking you’re the smartest person in the room (This is my favorite one!) Someone once said to me: “It sucks being the smartest person in the room!” Those were his words verbatim. The problem? There were only two people in the room – him and me. At first, I thought he was joking but he wasn’t. It caught me off guard because he wasn’t wearing an “I’m with stupid t-shirt…” NO: Trust me on this one – you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. Don’t aim for the most intellectually challenged but you’ll be far more successful if you surround yourself with smart, talented people and make them feel like smart, talented people. If you’re the smartest person in the room, I’d go to a different room. That’s just the way it works!
Categories: Saavy Managers