There are MANY smart people in the world. And what do they all have? A POV (point of view) about relevant or important topics. While they rarely have the SAME POV, they can clearly articulate their own.
Why is this important in your work life?
Without a POV, you are perceived as just blowing in the wind – “When you don’t stand for anything, you fall for everything.”
Having a point of view characterizes you as someone who:
- Cares and can think seriously about a topic
- Understands his/her own personal priorities or values
- Understands the issue and the impact of decisions made
- Possesses leadership
If you’ve ever been in a meeting with someone who didn’t have a POV on a topic for which they should, given their role and responsibilities, you know how it negatively affects your perception of them. It makes you think, “What value do they contribute to the organization?”
So how do you ensure that you are never the one without a POV?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Build relationships with people who have different perspectives from your own. Get to know others who work in different departments or industries and ask them about their opinions on the issue. Seek to understand what is important to them and why. A greater diversity of interactions and insights helps broaden your own perspective and uncover blind spots.
- Research and read. Take some time to find out what your competitors are doing or look for papers/articles on a topic to learn how industry experts or internal mentors think about the issue. Being well-read is a path to being well-respected.
- Oftentimes, your core values shape your POV. Can you articulate what your core values are? If not, take some time to write down the words/descriptors of what you value most. Consider the following to help you define your values: 1) Describe the qualities or characteristics of the top 5 most positive experiences in your life; 2) List the top 5 situations or attitudes that irritate or exasperate you; 3) What do make time for? 4) In what ways do you spend money? Your values drive your behaviors and also shape how you think.
- Create space for think-time. Reflect on past experiences – what did you learn? How might those be relevant to the current situation? What are the business impacts relative to the decision options? Ask yourself, “What other alternatives should I consider?”
The definition of point of view is an opinion, attitude or judgment. When you boil it all down, employers pay us to think and make decisions. That is really all about having a point of view. So I say, let’s give them what they pay us for!
Consider the issues/topics that affect your business, department, employees and customers and make note of where a fully developed point of view is needed – then go do the work to create clarity about your POV.
Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.