5 incredibly important self-awareness tips for every business person
I was recently in a meeting that went for 55 minutes… 54 of which, the other person spoke non-stop about themselves.
The meeting was meant to be about a potential partnership between our companies. Unsurprisingly, no partnership was formed.
Luckily, it was a Friday afternoon in our office, so I was able to sink a few beers while hearing about how awesome he was.
The only question he asked me the entire meeting was, “do you like beer”?
Clearly. I’ve had 3 in the last 35 minutes…something that’s only possible when (a) you’re a decent drinker, and (b) you’re not talking at all 😑.
It’s always blown my mind how many people in business are completely unaware of how they act in both social and commercial interactions.
How can someone go an hour without realising they haven’t asked the other person one meaningful question?
If you’re reading this, and you think there’s even the slightest chance you do this sometimes, make sure you read this entire post. It’ll be a life-saver.
Here are some simple hacks you can use to train yourself to be more self aware.
1. Count the questions you ask in a conversation
In any meeting you’re in, consciously make the effort to ask the majority of the questions, especially in the first 10–15mins. For example, out of 10 questions asked in the meeting, aim to ask 8 of them.
Then watch the magic happen. 🎩
2. Get really good at listening
When I was in school, my Mediterranean grandma would speak to me on the phone.
She isn’t the most self-aware person, so the conversation would usually be 2hrs of her talking about herself. As painful as this was, I got pretty damn good at listening to boring sh*t.
Patience is a game most find too boring to play, meaning I’ll usually win. ⏰
You build strong relationships in business (and life in general) by truly listening to people and getting to know what drives them.
3. Don’t think about what to SAY next, think about what to ASK next
This must be one of the worst habits humans have. They’ll spend the time they should be listening to someone trying to think about what they’ll say next to sound smart.
Sounding smart does not impress people. You impress people by asking them intelligent questions that relate to what they’ve said.
4. Stop saying “I”
Saying “I” too much is a good indication you’re probably boring the sh*t out the person listening to you. 🙄
Try to get good at catching yourself saying it, as if it’s a super rude swear word.
If you’re talking about the things your company is up to, say “we” instead of “I”. This is for a few reasons:
(a) You didn’t do it on your own anyway and;
(b) Your company sounds bigger if you say “we” (saying “I” just sounds like you’re running a solo show).
5. The inputs you’ve heard are ‘ammo’
Now it’s your turn to speak.
All this listening and asking leaves you in a powerful position. You’ve now got ‘ammo’ to use to get a good outcome from the meeting. Do a quick ‘stocktake’ in your head on the person you’re speaking to.
What are their pain-points?
What is their desired outcome?
How can they benefit from working or partnering with you?
Use this ammo for partnerships, negotiation, recruitment, raising capital and so on. 🤝
How we plan to fix this problem
We constantly find ourselves talking about this problem internally at Pitchblak, so we’ve decided to build a product that will make it super easy for you to gradually become more self-aware.
I can’t tell you the exact details just yet, but watch this space 😉
We’re super excited about this one…