So, you've landed a new consulting assignment or perhaps a new job with a new firm or even a new role within your current enterprise but in a different organization. How do you find out "what's your deal?" You need to find out what it is, where and how to add value, who the players are, and how to do it-fast!
- Open your eyes: The first days on the job or assignment are key to observe how people behave. What do they say or left unsaid? How do they say it? Are they blunt or indirect? How do they dress? When do they show up to work and when do they leave? Do they work through lunch or go out? Observe, take note, and adjust accordingly.
- Open your ears: Listening is different than hearing. Practice listening to what people are saying and what they really mean. What's between the lines? What does the body language say? Ask thoughtful questions and then listen carefully. Document what you learn and make course corrections.
- Open your mind: Just because this new group does things differently from our own experiences, don't immediately judge, diminish, or be critical. Take time to learn why they do it that way and the pros and cons before offering advice or input. The San Antonio Spurs do things differently from the Dallas Mavericks or Miami Heat though all three are great organizations, have great players and coaches, and all have won recent championships.
- Open your door: Don't isolate yourself. Keep an open door mentality and literally and take the initiative to respectfully walk through other's doors. You can't learn the deal or succeed if you stay in a tower, isolated from others. Learning the deal will come as much if not more from informal dialogue and conversations over coffees and lunches than org charts and documents. Keep an open door to go along with the open mind.
Once your boots hit the ground the first order of business is to figure out; What's your deal? That is a key not only to initial survival, but a key to adding immediate and long term value to our respective organizations.
Don't forget to leave your comments below.