“Macy… what should I do?” a friend asked me.
“I just started a new job at a large company. I’ve only been there a few months. They just asked me to be a keynote speaker at their St. Jude’s fundraiser event. It’s near and dear to my heart because my daughter had a brain tumor when she was really young.”
“That is an awesome opportunity! What are the reasons causing you to hesitate?” I asked.
“Well,” he said as he looked down with his hands in his pockets. “I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I won’t be able to get through the speech without crying. I am just not ready.”
Whenever I am asked advice like this, it’s not about what I think is right, it’s about getting them on board to what I believe is right.
When you’re on the outside, you see things differently and more clearly. It’s like a doctor/patient relationship. The patient is sick, their judgment is cloudy and they need guidance. The doctor is clear-minded, experienced and can see what is best for the patient. They take charge, tell them the next steps and get them onboard with the next steps. A doctor can give all the advice or prescriptions in the world, but if the patient isn’t on board, well… they’ll never get better.
I started to build my case on why he should take this opportunity, even though it’s hard.
“That’s actually exactly why you should do this,” I said. He looked up, confused. “Vulnerability is the fast track to connection. What that means for you is you’re going to quickly bond with your new co-workers. In fact, there is a lot of research on vulnerability and how it not only connects you with people, but also makes you more respectable. And being respectable in your new job is important to you, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “Yes. That’s incredibly important.”
“Talking about your daughter is going to show that you’re a family man. This is going to give you a new level of credibility. I know for me, when I am looking for a mentor or a role model, their family life is SUPER important to me. It’s one of the first things I look for. If their family is #1 to them, they will lead me in that direction, too. Having that credibility of a man that loves his family is what you want, isn’t it?”
I could see his brain start to turn. “Yes. That credibility is important,” he answered.
“Lastly, saying yes to this opportunity right off the bat in this new job is going to show you’re willing to try. This is going to exude confidence. In fact, Mel Robbins defines confidence as “the willingness to try.” You want your company to see that you’re confident, right!?:
He started smiling and got a pep in his step. “YES! You are so right. I am going to email them to tell them I accept this opportunity.”
The purpose of this blog post is to open your eyes in a couple of ways:
1. It demonstrates how to build a case. There’s a huge difference between telling someone what to do and getting them excited about what you want them to do. Building a case does that.
2. You can see the power of saying yes to opportunities and the power of vulnerability. Say yes to the hard things. It will actually make your life easier in the long run.
Hopefully, you gained insight on advice I had the chance to share about someone else’s life circumstances!