The Hardest Job in the World...is Mine?
How’s this for a challenging job? In this job, you have 60 minutes to complete the following…go:
- Pick up the phone, dial a stranger’s number
- Realize the stranger doesn’t want to talk to you (because their boss forced them to take part in this “growth opportunity”)
- Engage them despite their skepticism
- Talk about the toughest subject possible—their personal constraints—and get them to agree with you!!
- Have their future and the people they impact hanging in the fragile balance
- Win them over with deep insight
- Devise custom growth steps to break their constraints
- Be funny and entertaining
- Don’t say a single thing wrong or you’ll lose them for good…game over…done
- Type up the growth plan while on the phone and email it to them at the end
…Then hang up, and dial the next number!
I have done the above sequence literally thousands of times. Pretty fascinating, huh? And when I say “hardest job in the world” I mean no disrespect to our school teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, or armed forces—so maybe I should say “hardest desk job” or “extremely intriguing job”??? :)
The great thing about doing this (along with tons of in-person consulting) for almost 15 years is that you truly get to know people. What is that worth? Really everything, because life is all about people. Having to communicate effectively with and disarm every personality combination out there sure comes in handy.
This doesn’t mean I’ve never had an imperfect conversation with my wife (that’s not the point of this, can we get back to the subject please!) but it has been an unexpected benefit for someone who came into this role from the science/assessment side as a statistician and ended up on the art side of communicating the information. People kept asking me questions, and next thing you know I’m a consultant!
It has been a fun and fulfilling journey for sure. And all of this has taught me one thing for sure: there’s still so much more to learn.