Investigating Change: Setting the table

“The kind of person you are is what determines your influence, which, in turn, is what determines your success.”

Chris Widener, The Art of Influence

I believe inviting others to Your Table, ultimately gets you invited to The Table. If you want a say in things at a higher level, start inviting people to your table and give them a voice in your world.

Yes, you have a table – no matter your role, we all have one. And yes, giving others a voice with you will be the difference in making impact on things bigger than you (which is what gets you noticed).

For example, when you think about your role, consider who you have invited to your table already and who you think you should be inviting. Here are some examples of what it looks like to invite someone to your table:

  • Ask someone what their opinion is about something specific you are working on
  • Request an overview from someone about some knowledge they have that you are struggling with
  • Get curious when people are complaining about issues with process, then you can see if it makes sense to collaborate with other people at your table about it if it is some kind of gap
  • Ask for a 1:1 with a leader at your company to get some deeper insights into what they are trying to do right now (ask them what their biggest focus is for the next year and see what happens!)
  • Document the “day in the life of” for a persona you support or work with and ask people in that role if this represents their responsibilities accurately or what they would change to make it accurate
  • Document a use case you have worked on and gather feedback
  • Consider hosting a brainstorming session to collaborate around a topic that seems to be of interest but no one really seems to know what the next steps are

We all know successfully implementing change at our company is never as simple as we hope. It requires participation from many levels and a lot of different skills and perspectives along the way. So when projects do go well it is because everyone is rallying around the same vision, actively collaborating and consistently leveraging effective communication strategies.

In my view, this means the majority of the people on the project were showing-up, stepping-up and in many cases leveling-up in real time. We do this by focusing on all the things we can control (such as inviting people to our table!).

In fact, many quotes from Albert Einstein are related to how we choose to show-up and highlight how much control we have in where we focus our attention: 

  • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
  • “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
  • “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Using these quotes as inspiration, you can start to see where this is going. If you are interested in exploring these topics further, and how following a few simple exercises could help you level-up your ability to influence and impact success in your work then check-out the first Investigating Change Workshop here!