No pontifical blah, blah, blah here, folks.
Consider that a collaborative, connected workplace is not some futuristic dream. Rather, that environment is here today to stay.
As for me, I started out young.
My Dad was a trial lawyer. So, when I was a 10-year old, we would meet each night after dinner. My task was to critique his law briefs prior to his arguing a case in court.
You can imagine the life I had by the time I was in 5th grade.
At first, I dreaded the task. However, then I anticipated it. Why? Because dear old Dad asked me to ponder what the judge would think after each presented section of the brief and arguments. Then, I considered how the jury, the plaintiff, the defendant, the witnesses and those reporters would perceive oral and written arguments.
Soon, I asked questions and cross-examined each statement because I thought three moves past where I was reading, simultaneously.
I crossed trained my brain, although I didn’t realize it at the time. That discipline and perspective catalyzed my wonder about science and engineering. How were things were put together? Why did some systems evolve over time and others fade away into extinction?
So, what is involved when you cross train your brain?
Well, you do not necessarily need to read law briefs. However, if you are like me and read a lot of books and watch a lot of HBO and Netflix (I have Game of Thrones™ figured out, folks), you are used to thinking on a lot of levels at once.
So cut yourself some intellectual slack, already. Also, it is helpful to cultivate these three traits.
- First, when you cross train your brain, you develop an open mind to learning information that makes you uncomfortable, really uncomfortable. Make it OK to “not know.” Then, carry that mindset into the workplace.
- Also, an open mind creates a relentless curiosity about what everyone “does” in your organization and your clients’, as well. Dig deeper, continuously establish context.
- Finally, cross training your brain is driven by a sincere desire to become better and better than you were yesterday, by the end of each day. Find like-minded colleagues and clients who match your curiosity and desire.
When you cross train your brain you become more interested as well as interesting.
First, you morph into a cross-functional and multi-disciplinary professional of worth. Yup, big words are involved as well as big ideas your right and left brain are comfortable and conversant with. Simultaneously.
- You see, when you cross train your brain, you connect seemingly disconnected ideas, across an organization. People will marvel at your insights. (So will you.)
- Then, you become more engaged because you understand what more people sitting around the business table are saying to each other and to you. Soon, you ask questions you didn’t think you were capable of asking.
- Also, because you become more innately curious, you read with a new set of eyes and hear with a new set of ears. That is when all cylinders start firing and you become more innovative.
- Consequently, you become a lot more interesting to colleagues and clients. Guess what? They become more excited about working and doing business with you.
As a result, when you meet, everyone always comes away with a new insight that was not part of a pre-packaged sales enablement program or sales script. Your designs become more innovative because you take chances with the status quo. Consequently, solutions are arrived at through combination and recombination, pulling sometimes crazy ideas from benchmarks outside of your industry vertical.
Learn to cross train your brain. Become more innovative and productive. Plus, get along with people from disciplines which make you uncomfortable. OK, now, let’s talk! Isn’t it about time? (Let’s compare notes on Game of Thrones, too!).
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
I am an extroverted STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. I catalyze professionals to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organizations. Better serve each other first so you better serve your clients together. One millimeter at a time. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s professional comfort zones My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
Image source: Getty images