Are You a Business Peacock or a Zebra? You’ve been in “those” meetings haven’t you? Everyone’s talking at each other. No one’s listening to anyone else.
Yes, you are supposed to be having an interdisciplinary, cross-functional meeting. Collaboration is the theme. Except that no one picked up that message on the meeting agenda.
Then there are those other folks in the room, who quite frankly have tuned everyone else out. They will speak when they are spoken to. Out of all the noise that’s being generated in the room, they are listening for their cue to present their stuff.
They are business zebras. They want to fit in and run with the pack. They aren’t interested in sticking their necks out. They don’t see themselves as show-offs. They are simply doing their jobs, assisting others seated around the tables.
Business zebras don’t seem to fit in with your flock. “They” seem to be a homogenous herd. Yet each zebra has distinctive markings. They are individuals of worth. They bring value to your team and to your company. Their data are significant. They are business professionals of few words, yet they have a lot to say when they speak.
Where do you fit into this picture? Are you a business peacock or a zebra?
Do you constantly interrupt presentations or verbally acknowledge points being made? Your behavior might disrupt rather than reinforce meeting continuity.
When you present your information, do you take the time to engage everyone with your eyes? How do people react to you – do they turn their eyes the other way, or even roll their eyes?
What type of information do you miss when you turn off and tune out? The physical dynamics of a meeting speak volumes about dysfunction, alliances, decision making and receptivity to innovative thinking.
When you participate in meetings with a new set of eyes and ears, you can observe a lot of factors which make your team function well, or not at all. When your entire team decides to park their tail feathers and stripes at the door of the conference room, you collectively and collaboratively can move status quo mountains.
Perhaps it’s more important to get to the finish line together this week, than continue the same-old, same-old.
What will your choice be?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. She remodels startups and small-to-medium size manufacturing and service companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams and inconsistent growth and expansion initiatives.
Babette was named a Social Selling 2015 Top50 Influencer and a 2014 Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer. Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales World. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.