Are you always opting into requests to join another initiative or team or engage in business? What about signing up for more newsletters, subscribe to organizations, etc.? It just may be time for you to start professionally opting out.
You know the phrase: “The word ‘No’ is a complete sentence.”
For starters, take a look at your Inbox, social media feed, and daily-weekly-monthly schedule. Does your professional life reflect a strong sense of who you are professionally? If you understand your professional purpose, you create a more logical yet innovative set of people, topics, and interests to focus your time and attention on.
Otherwise, your inbox, feeds, and professional schedule easily resemble a FOMO smorgasbord. Plus, what happens when your schedule is not entirely curated by you, alone? Can you opt out of what others schedule to opt you into?
I recently spoke at a women’s conference about creating and owning your professional story. In the post-presentation Q&A session, attendees expressed concern about how frequently their professional stories are pulled in all sorts of directions due to over commitment. Yet, they continued to professionally opt in to any invitation to participate. Otherwise, they feared that declining invitations would be negatively perceived by colleagues.
As a result, their resumes looked impressive and highly participatory. In reality, many of these immensely talented STEM professionals felt they had insufficient time to focus on the areas most relevant and valuable to them.
You may need to start opting out to get to where you really need to go, together, one millimeter at a time.
If you are passionately committed to specific causes and initiatives within your profession, there is tremendous self-awareness, professional focus, and power in learning to say “No.” Especially when you are focused on the type of professional innovation which launches you into tomorrow’s more strategically agile leadership models.
You know that phrase: “She thought she could, so she did.” I have absolutely no doubt in your capabilities to excel at any professional endeavor you become engaged in. How many invitations do you opt into which initially strike you as “easy,” involving very little time and energy? Yet once involved, you realize the model, team, organization, or opportunity is poorly conceived or not well-run. Then, because you can, you put on your superhero cape and dive in and attempt to bring light to the situation. How well are your actions received?
Not everyone is as comfortable with complex decision making as you are. And not everyone is comfortable and confident to move beyond beyond groupthink and consensus so they can explore areas of innovation together. They just may want to opt in because it looks good on their resumes.
Just because you can does not mean you actually should choose to professionally opt into to every request you receive.
Over-commitment, including newsletters and professional memberships, can create unnecessary energy and emotional drains which impede your professional innovation. To create your professional trajectory, curate what you professionally opt in to. Your greatest opportunities are best viewed from an uncluttered perspective, focused on your professional purpose and story. Do you understand and embrace what yours is?
Catalyzing you to be ahead of what is new, next, and continuously changing. | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Complex Problem Solving | Speaker, Consultant, Mentor |
How do you become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable throughout your career trajectory as the problems you solve become more complex? Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset ™ speaking, consulting, and mentoring programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more innovatively as they create and implement innovative and robust business outcomes together. Regardless of whether you are a traditional thinker or a more creative one, use her 3 Core Questions, 4 Change Agreements, and 5 Professional Whys so everyone gets to where they really need to go, together.
Babette walks her talk so you can walk yours. A speaker and consultant, Babette leverages her own professional, cross-functional experience in new product development and market research to become your concierge mentor. Babette is a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver, Duke Corporate Education licensed Strategic Agility practitioner, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association (NSA). Delivered virtually or in-person. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available in digital format on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.