Monday, March 9, 2009

How to vs. Why to

The world seems to fall into 2 camps… those who plan ‘how’ to do things and those who explore the ‘what’ we’re doing and why do it’. A few talented communication specialists manage to embrace both sides of the question but they’re often shouted down at the table.

Most people ask me ‘how’ to network or ‘how’ to mentor. They ask for my Top 10 lists, my 5 Step program and my analysis charts.

Valid questions and requests.

And I know I frustrate them when I ask them what they’re hoping to accomplish. “Networking, of course!” they say. “Mentoring” they reply. To what end? I ask. Usually it’s because someone told them it would be a good idea. But why is it a good idea for you?

How will you know you’ve been successful? Because you did all the right things from the list? Ha! say those who know me…. it doesn’t work that way! If it did then we wouldn’t have all those folks out there who keep asking for better lists.

Of course I have lists. My lists reflecting my ideas and what I want to accomplish for myself and those around me. I’m happy to share them but I bet several of my items might leave you thinking I was a bit loopy.

We need the ‘how’ in order to achieve the what and why’. If you really want to start with a list - start a list with this question: what am I doing this for?

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