Task, Rapport & Opportunity
Anybody in the room do a midday check in with a family member, a friend, a spouse, roommate, their employees, their employers, that midday check in. Here's what I find fascinating about the midday check in, that if someone calls their whoever, have you ever had the phone ring a couple of extra times before they pick up, you ever had that happen? You dial the number, it's ringing, it rings, it rings and then they answer, the phone was right there. I think they were gearing up, I think they were. I hear it all the time, I'll be sitting at an airport, I'll be sitting in a conference, I'll be sitting out in the world and I'll here someone on the phone get the other person live and they'll say, in rapid succession, hey, how are you? Did you pick up the cleaning this morning? What are we doing this weekend when the family comes to visit? And I can only imagine the other person on the other end of the phone going, okay, is this and R, how am I? Is this a T, do I have to do a task? Is this an ...
O, do I have to make a plan? It's a lot, for those of you with kids I'll share this short story and then we'll move on from this one. Had a client of ours on the East Coast and he took this activity, pushed on it hard inside of his organization and then about a month later, I did my debrief call with him and he said, that he brought it home. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays, him, his wife, the two twin daughters, and the younger son, at dinner Tuesdays and Thursdays, they went through the tasks, the calendar, the trips, the travel, the organization. What the family was doing that week. And he says, amazing Jason, we've been doing this for a few weeks now and because we bunch all of the T conversations on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we've got these other five nights a week to talk about the relationship. How are you, what are you working on, what challenges are you dealing with, what can we do sister to sister, brother to sister, mom to dad, dad to kid, kid to parents. And oh by the way, the moment that we have that deeper relationship with one another, it gives us that opening, that opportunity to talk about the future. So again, the context to this, is to take a look at 12 months from now. Take what they're gonna be talking about that you'd like to wedge into. Take what you'd like to be known for and to market that, or to advertise that. So there's an activity in the workbook, you've got this in your handouts, for those of you online, if you have this PDF available or just pull out a piece of paper, and here's what I'd like you to do. I'm gonna take about 30 maybe 45 seconds for this, I'll watch the clock. What I'd like you to do is to section your notes into three sections, three columns, three rows, doesn't matter, in your notebooks I believe you have three sections. Now what I'd like you to do is to run through and maybe do a three, six, 12 month focus. Over the next three, six, 12 months, what are some T conversations that you know you're gonna have to have? Could be work, could be life, could be big, could be little. Over the next three, six, 12 months, what are some R conversations that you know you need to have? And then finally, three, six, what are some O conversations? So for those of you here in the studio if you'll take about 45 seconds and give yourself a good four, five, six line items there. For those of you online, if you're standing in front of a whiteboard or a flipchart, have you're journal right there, let yourself see out loud what it is you'd like to talk about at the T level, transactions, tasks to-dos. What relationship conversations you'd like to initiate. Whether that's with a manager about understanding where she or he is coming from. Whether that's with a spouse, a child, a parent. And then of course with the opportunity, three and six or 12 months from now, what kinds of opportunity discussions do you know you wanna be a part of? But let me turn, for now to the live audience. We've got a couple of you who haven't had the opportunity to share yet today, so I'll look around and make awkward eye contact with somebody. But what I'd love to do is kinda keep this open, I may do a little bit of coaching as we go through. But how was that exercise of going through and separating out the different kinds of conversations? What showed up that surprised you? Or what comment do you have about slowing down and putting these things into your own handwriting. So let me look round see if I can get two people who'd be willing to share just a little bit about that exercise.
Awesome, so I am a to-do lister, so it's easy for me to think about the tasks that need to be done. So that column filled up a lot more quickly. So as far as like the next three months for me, I'm looking at you know, building a team and looking for possibly intern, people to help with all the different areas that I'm scattered in my business to be able to delegate and create that time and space for myself. So that was probably the easiest one. As far as relationship-wise I guess, you know, team building is also part of that as well. So you know, continuing to get out and doing more networking and building my community online as well and so it was exciting to have the structure to be able to lay that out instead of just making to-do lists around all of these different things and never getting it done. (laughs)
And we got Daniel, yeah.
Yeah, so I actually thought this was a really interesting and cool exercise, and for me my thought process kinda went into different aspects of my life. Whether it's my personal relationship with my girlfriend, things to do with school that I'm in right now, or things to do with like my family, things like that. And then the way, I thought it was kinda tough at first. But the way I kinda went about it was, I looked at the O, and I was like, what would I like to have open up? And then kinda tied that into, well kinda with who? As a relationship I guess, right, and then like, okay well am I gonna need to get done? In order to have that happen, and it took like 20, 30 seconds for me to figure that out. But then I felt like I was just writing it because that just came to me.
That reverse engineering the process. Right, whether we call it beginning with the end in mind, I call it moving the flag. So whatever process works, and it's why I always present this in a triangle when I present it live, because I can come in at any angle. I love that process of going to the O and then backing up to the R, and then going to the T. I can start with the R, who around me right now do I have a strong relationship with? Can I, and I'll give a little secret here in just a moment, can I complete a task that because of that recency with the strong relationship, there may be an opportunity that shows up, I'll give a little secret to report or relationship building. The easiest and fastest way to build a relationship is to make up a task, and then over-deliver. And I'm a huge fan of using outsourcing to handle tasks and to build relationship, to create opportunity, I subscribe people to magazines all the time. So I'll be in a conversation with someone literally, on an airplane, at a conference, on a client's site, if she or he will tell me what they're focused on, what they're challenged by, if I can get them to, and remember the magic word from the beginning of this course, complain. Then I go online, and I go find a magazine subscription that would help them solve that complaint over time. They're into small business, let me get them Entrepreneur magazine, they're in finance let me subscribe them to Forbes. They're looking at organizing a leadership development program, there's Harvard Business Review. Now sure some of these are more expensive than the others, but if I subscribe you to a business school magazine, I have a reason for the next 12 months to call you. For the next 12 months, I can market myself without having to do the work. Hey, I know you got that Harvard Business Review magazine, page 37 this month has a great article on (mumbles) whatever that is, wow, Jason you're always in the know. Would you come in and do a presentation for me? (laughs) Yes, so make up tasks, complete those tasks. If I can I'll over-deliver, for those of us who're in a client service organization, how many of you are in charge of telling a client when you'll get what back to them? Does that fit anybody? For those of you online, if you're in any kind of a production service, product, if you tell clients what you'll get by the time that you'll get them that thing, I just add. I'm on a phone call with a client on a Tuesday and she or he wants a proposal for one of our programs, at the end of the conversation I will say something like, great I will have that to you by next Monday at the latest. Now look for the audience and studio, for those of you online I'll be very transparent. I'm a small business owner, it's Tuesday, when do I wanna get that thing to the client that I might get to work with, when do I wanna send it?
I wanna stop everything I was about to do today and get it to her or him right now. What I do do, is I send it Friday. Because I gave myself the margin, now when I send this by Friday, I'll send it earlier in the day. Hey, I know I was gonna send this to you on Monday, I got ahead this week, do you have five, 10 minutes. When you get this could we talk real quick? And you know what they say every time, every time I get them, when I get them, every time, wow, I'm so glad you got this to me early. I was the one who made it up, that was my deadline. T, R, O, please push on that at dinner tonight, on the next phone call you're in. I've even had clients process their email using T, R, O. I'll look at the audience online but I'll get my peripheral here, how many of you have more than one screen of email in your inbox at any given time, anyone have more than one screen of email? So here's a great exercise, screenshot. So you take your email inbox, take a screenshot of maybe four, five, 10, more. Take a screenshot of the first few screens. Take three highlighters, take a red highlighter, a yellow highlighter, and a green highlighter for the Os. And I go through every single inbox subject line. Is this an R, do I have to get this task handled? I'm sorry, a T, do I have to get this task handled? Is this an R, do I need to reply thoughtfully to this email, do I need to get them something? Is this an O, in my world an O generally has money attached to it. And by the way what you'll find is the first cut that you go through, a lot of the emails in your inbox are currently Ts.