Becoming successful in business and life takes real, hard work. In spite of all the “online talking heads” that often preach overnight success, true fulfillment can take months or even years. When you’re sizing up an accomplishment you want to smash out of the park, it’s essential to know what it will take. Getting more out of any workplace or business interaction requires putting more effort in from square one.
Here are 11 trusted tips for doubling or even tripling your results in business and life.
1. Be Present
Being present in the workplace sounds like a no-brainer – until you consider how difficult it can be. This is not to say being present is impossible, but few people are currently centered and giving their best at work.
Being present is easiest done when you’re focused on the other person and what they are seeking. Listen to both their verbal and non-verbal communication. Also, keep in mind most communication from human to human is non-verbal. Here are three ways to be present:
- Assume a comfortable but firm physical posture.
- Make frequent, but not constant eye contact.
- Stay focused on them – this is the secret to remaining interested!
2. Be Intentional
In order to double or even triple your results from any interaction, you need to know what your purpose is from the very beginning. For example, if you’re heading into an interview without an established concept of what you hope to take out of it, you’re better off not doing the interview.
It is totally fine to do an interview that you don’t plan to accept (if offered the job), but it’s an entirely different story if you enter the scenario without a clear goal. Here are a few tips for being highly intentional in business and workplace interactions:
- Establish your main goal before you enter the interaction.
- Be prepared with any necessary materials such as a pen and paper to take notes.
- Include a presentation, if this is appropriate and relevant for your interaction.
- Keep your notes in a conspicuous area afterwards.
3. Be Productive
Business and work can hardly be called worthwhile if they aren’t productive. Thousands of productivity resources abound across the Internet, in books and in seminars, pointing to one clear conclusion – most of us struggle with productivity in one way or another.
The feeling of getting something done isn’t worth much if the task itself didn’t help you do your job or level up your business. You can increase productivity with these tips:
- Start your day with the most difficult task.
- Prioritize what will get you results – not just what will look or feel good.
- Keep your vision small – focus on processes or weekly goals, rather than monthly or yearly aims.
4. Follow Up
Following up is one of the most verbally preached, but behaviorally overlooked aspects of maximizing business relationships. It’s a trademark of the times that people smile and greet one another, exchange business cards, promise to follow up – and then never follow up. You don’t want to end up like one of these people.
There are countless benefits to following up. You’ll be an individual of your word, you’ll deliver a quality result to the person you interacted with, and you’ll be building (or strengthening) a great habit. Plus, as it is ubiquitously known throughout the business world, the fortune is in the follow-up. Here are some tips for following up:
- Set a reminder as soon as you walk away.
- Add a personal element to the reminder, such as a rhyme.
- Complete the follow-up within one week.
5. Think From Their Perspective
The best negotiators know that there are nearly endless ways to create mutual success. By helping other people achieve what they want, you will naturally come closer to what you want. You simply need to remain genuinely focused on what other people want.
A few common scenarios you may face throughout your career are: being interested in a promotion that your supervisor may not be keen on, wanting to make a life change that your spouse doesn’t understand, looking to make a career shift when your options are scarce, dealing with an unusually obstinate boss or figuring out how to keep your life moving when you’ve just experienced a personal failure. Here are some foolproof recommendations for absorbing another person’s perspective:
- What is this individual looking for?
- Am I able to help them get the result they want?
- How can I help move their goal forward?
- What is one tangible task I can commit to and complete within one week?
6. Be Polite
In a world where common sense and daily manners seem to be on a downward spiral, politeness and public graces can take you far. Soft skills carry just as much weight as hard skills, so this is one area you can’t afford to overlook. How to kill ’em with kindness in the modern world:
- Hold the door for people.
- Smile when it’s genuine (many people can tell a fake smile).
- Find something authentic you can compliment them on.
7. Utilize The Supreme Power Of Listening
In the same way that everyday politeness is fading from the public limelight, listening is a prized skill that has just as much value in business as it does in the personal world. Being able to listen well means meetings are more efficient, you don’t have to double check on project instructions and you’re more likely to be successful and well-liked. Here are a few ways to massively improve your listening skills:
- Exercise empathy; put yourself in the speaker’s shoes.
- Don’t assume you already know everything.
- Listen to absorb, rather than to immediately respond.
8. Remember The Small Things
Remembering smaller aspects of your daily interactions shows people you truly do care; that you aren’t just another employee or friend. Being mindful of relatively personal bits of information others share with you indicates you’re a trustworthy and upstanding person – increasing the likelihood they’ll want to collaborate with you. How to remember the small things:
- Be sincerely interested in other people and their observations.
- Think of one aspect of their personal life you can remember, and next time you see them, ask them about it.
- Keep a pocket-sized notepad wherever you go.
9. Laugh A Bit
Laughter is a great way to let off some steam and turn an otherwise difficult day into a more cheerful one. Naturally, you don’t want to overdo any laughing, but if an observation strikes you as funny and it’s appropriate for the situation, go ahead and guffaw. Here are a few tips for laughter opportunities:
- Laugh when sincere, but don’t drag it on.
- Tell people what you appreciated so much.
- Look for ways to cheer others up when they’re feeling blue.
10. Practice Generosity
Generosity is the secret weapon of everyone who has ever been successful. You might think I’m kidding, but upon second glance, it’s easy to see why the likes of Og Mandino, Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins have all included going above and beyond as part of their core messages. Here are four ways to practice generosity:
- Give in a way that excites and engages you.
- Focus on giving something small and genuine, rather than huge and insincere.
- Give something that is of practical value to the recipient.
- If possible, give a gift that is particularly timely or opportune.
11. Think Of Your Normal Contribution, Then Double That
Here’s the true secret sauce. To double or triple your results, you have to double or triple the input you’re providing. In other words, if you want your boss, co-workers and/or clients to truly be astounded, offer them something that only you can provide through your work, and do it with a spirit of gratitude. A few tips for doubling or tripling your input are:
- Think of what you would want to receive if you were the recipient.
- Look for ways to solve the unique problem your client or boss is facing.
- Increase the value of what you’re providing, rather than just adding fluff. Think of what will make it more meaningful or useful, rather than just “bigger.”