Do you know someone, be it a close friend or an acquaintance, who gives the impression of being tremendously structured? The person always responds to your emails, finish what they promised they would do with good margin, seems to be on top of things and remains calm and composed in most situations.
Get a clue
Do you wish you were like that as well — if not entirely, then at least to some greater extent? There is probably something about this person or how they behave that you value and have noticed since it differs from how you do things, at least until now. Acknowledging this is quite a gift, and doubly so. First of all, it highlights an area in your way of working which you wish to improve upon, and secondly you now have a role model from whom you might get a clue as to how you can refine your work methods.
Imitate without shame
Some of us were as children taught that it is not polite to imitate others, but in this case I think it is highly appropriate.
It is even flattering for the person you are inspired by to be considered a role model. And if you simplify and improve how you work, it will benefit your colleagues, clients or anyone you have dealings with as well — in addition to helping and benefiting you.
If you want to let yourself be actively inspired by someone else in your ambition to improve and develop, then do this:
- Ask yourself who you consider having excellent structure, and give yourself a few minutes to think about it.
- Ask yourself what attributes or behaviors this person has that you would want to have or do as well.
- If the person is in close proximity to you, go and ask them how they manage to do that fantastic thing you admire and listen carefully to their response.
- If the person is not very close to you and you do not feel entirely comfortable asking them, make an educated guess as to what their key to success might be. You can for instance ask yourself how this person would have done in a given situation which you find troublesome. If you were them, what would you then do?
- Try to figure out if there is something concrete the person does which you could imitate and do as well.
- does the person have a particular tool they use?
- have they established a certain habit?
- is there something special the person does when a tricky situation arises?
- is there something special the person says or asks in the dialog that makes things so much easier further into the process and collaboration?
- Now do what you need to in order to adopt the exemplary trait or behavior right away, or create a to-do-task that entails you doing whatever you need to do, if you should choose to do it at a later date.
A generous free ride
If you actively take impression from people you perceive as somehow more accomplished in an area you wish to improve in, you will take a smart shortcut to becoming better yourself. You are not left to your own ability to think of solutions, but can benefit from what others have done and found to be working previous to your current attempt at refining your ways — without it costing them anything. Besides, you will not only benefit yourself by improving your structure, but others around you will as well.
Who or what is your inspiration?
Where and in who do you find inspiration to becoming more structured and refining your work methods? Sharing is caring, so share your source of inspiration in a comment and let others be inspired as well.