Before we begin: my course Breaking Through, is on sale (was $297, now $148) this week only for my awesome mentees. Use code MM2020 at checkout to get 50% off. 🤫
Alright, back to regularly scheduled programming. As a leader or someone who manages people, you’ll often get into situations where you’ll get ideas or feedback from your team members and then you’ll have to decide on moving forward with those ideas or simply rejecting them. The issue with saying ‘No’ to people’s ideas is that they can sometimes get offended and feel disappointed. Now, obviously, your job is not always about taking care of the feelings of your team members as tough decision need to be made from time-to-time, but, what if there was a better way to reject someone’s idea?
I found a better way to disagree with people, or reject their suggestions and ideas. Any time I ran meetings at Morgan Stanley or at my previous startup, I loved getting the input of my fellow team members on the project and how we should tackle various streams. Generally speaking, everyone would opine with their best idea and share it with the team. The problem was that most ideas I had to reject. To do this the right way, instead of accepting a single idea from each person, I would always ask them:
“That’s good, what else are you thinking?”
This simple question wouldn’t negate their idea, but would get them to think a bit harder about their idea. Not only that, they would also then think about a couple more ideas to bring to the table. After a few minutes, that same team member would then tell you, the manager, their other ideas. Here’s the best part: when I would hear the collection of ideas, now I could actually reject 2 out of 3 of their ideas (including potentially their first idea) and accept 1 of them. Adding options allowed me as the manager to get my team members to think harder, bring more options to the table, and comfortably reject some of their ideas while accepting others.
Ultimately, this strategy makes your team members feel better; they know that you (as their manager) are open to their ideas, you actively ask for their suggestions, and even if you disagree with them, you do put some of their ideas into action.
Give it a try this week with your team members and see how you feel. Good luck! 🤗
My Personal Mentor 🎙
This is my weekly podcast where I provide life & career advice and invite mentees of mine who have amazing journeys and life stories that we can all learn from. If you enjoy these emails, you’ll hopefully like that too. You can listen here on Apple Podcast or any other podcasting app, just search for ‘My Personal Mentor’.
Imtisal Zafar - Pushing Pakistan Forward and Building a Global Brand (listen here)
I've known Imtisal all of my life, literally. He was my first ever best-friend when I grew up in Pakistan. Imtisal is the Founder of Verve Management, Pakistan's top event management company and one that is pushing the boundaries for events and entertainment in Pakistan and in broader Asia. In this episode I chat with Imtisal about his journey, how he has expanded what it means to be Pakistani and brought the Pakistani culture outside of its shell and into a global scale. Imtisal is a self-started and has travelled to more countries in the world than anyone else I know and his journey is inspiring and uplifting to thousands. Hope you enjoy this episode with my OG best friend.
Quote of the Week
Go all-in on second chances.
Videos this Week 🎬
NEW SERIES! Who's Hiring: Goldman Sachs, Founder Collective, Future.Fit: Team! Starting a new weekly series: Who's Hiring?! Every Sunday I will find some interesting jobs around the world and share them with you. Today's roles are as follows:
How to Get Invited to Speak at TED: Speaking on the TED stage can be a pretty amazing experience. I've only been lucky to speak on the TEDx stage, not TED specifically, but if it is something that you want to do as well, there is a path to it. I am not special, neither did I plan to get on the stage, but it happened because of me building my brand, getting public speaking experience, and networking. In today's video I talk about how you can also align yourself, not guarantee, just align, to one day get on the TED stage. I hope you make it to a real TED event and can give me a shoutout if this video edged you towards it. Good luck friends!
How to Ask for a Raise: Asking for a raise is one of the most daunting things one can do at work. A lot of times we are scared, nervous, and just not sure how our manager or boss will react. In this video I talk about some of the strategies you can use to prepare yourself to ask for a raise and how to actually have the tough conversation. Good luck! If you get a raise because of this video, please buy me a drink. Yes. Bye.
Mentor Hour: Starting a Startup: Hosted a Mentor Hour with my good friends at the National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Society. We chatted about the challenges of starting a startup, leaving a fancy corporate career, and how one should think before making the leap.