Imagine feeling powerless in a situation and not knowing what to do next, we’ve probably all been there however Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and the Originals, had this interesting idea of the power of powerless communications.
In this bite-sized episode we share with you the three key premises of his idea and when and when not to use them.
[00:00:00] Andrew: Hi everyone. And welcome to this week’s Monday memo. Hope you had a fantastic weekend or last few days, and looking forward to the week ahead.
[00:00:08] And during the last few days, it was fantastic to get to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones at the generation CFO, digital finance function awards. Really appreciate. A lot of you getting behind us and putting us forward for a nomination for an award, and we won best resource of the year.
[00:00:26] So again, thank you everyone for your support on that one much appreciated and really enjoyed the party as well as the after party in bar Soho in London. So it was great fun night to be had by all. And thanks again to James Perry for being my plus one on the night as well. we had a great time, but anyway, to this week’s Monday memo it was actually when I was back from London, that I was doing some gardening, reflecting on the event of the last few days, and also listening to an old audible book.
[00:00:56] Called give and take by Adam Grant, sort of one of my favorites and an idea from it popped back into my mind. It was this idea from Adam Grant about the power of powerless communications. And we’ve probably been there ourselves. Imagine like we’ve been in a situation where we feel absolutely powerless.
[00:01:13] Don’t know what to do next. Whether it be in our finance careers or.
[00:01:16] But actually there is actually some frameworks we can use. And Adam Grant had some ideas actually three things we could perhaps do to deal with it. And one of my favorite examples from the book is this lady and she. being asked to move from one side of the country, to the other side of the country to do her job.
[00:01:34] And she doesn’t really know what to do about it because she’s almost finished her studies in her current location. She needs to be there twice a week, face to finish them off. So she’s going around asking for advice, saying, what do I do here? Do I go and try and work somewhere else, get some other offers and be assertive.
[00:01:51] Do I point out my strengths? Do I tell them what I need from them? Do I go to my line manager saying, this is what you need to do for me, if you had to do this and actually turned out what she ended up doing was realizing that she didn’t have all the answers. So she went to the HR manager and asked if you were my shoes, what would you do?
[00:02:10] And actually.
[00:02:11] It turns out to be a very effective technique. Cuz when you ask people for advice and help they’re forced to put themselves into your shoes and make a recommendation from your point of view. More often than not, that is, and it turned out that the HR manager was able to make some calls, talk to a few people and got this lady a seat on the corporate jet twice a week to fly backwards and forwards.
[00:02:35] And if the jet was unavailable for any reason they’d pay for her airfare back and forward. Now I know myself, I wouldn’t be a big fan of flying. Every few days I had to do it many years. and it can be quite tiring, particularly with a young family. And I missed them growing up a bit but some of us do and that might be a solution that works with some people.
[00:02:54] However, when Adam Grant was talking about powerless communication, he was saying, in some scenarios, it might be worth rather than going in, demonstrating our strength in a situation, maybe pointing out some of our shortcoming. That we don’t have all the answers and that sort of led into the second one, which was rather than being assertive in our speech, perhaps being a bit more tentative in actual fact, in some scenarios when people were.
[00:03:20] Exhibiting hesitations hedges disclaimers, which we have to do a lot if you come from an accounting background, you find yourself qualifying your statements a lot. And even myself, I have to hold myself back sometimes saying maybe not in all cases or I’m about 80% certain this is going to happen.
[00:03:36] that actually is another technique for helping people warm up to you. And rather than giving answers all the time, I think there’s a pressure or some finance always know what’s going on. Ask questions again, similar to the example I mentioned of the lady who’s trying to finish their degree course at college.
[00:03:52] Ask someone the question and that’s also making something use of the Benjamin Franklin effect.
[00:03:57] And it’s something, we use an awful lot on the strengthen, the numbers show. When we go out to to identify mentors, we’re really asking them for help. On behalf of our audience, yourselves, who similar to the mentor, we bring on an interview. Could have found themselves in your shoes at some point.
[00:04:14] And that’s why they’re so willing to come and share their thoughts, their ideas, their advice about what worked well in their careers. What could have worked better, what they might have done differently. What’s exciting them at the moment. And I guess why the show’s really appealing and you could say it’s probably an award winning show now.
[00:04:29] So there
[00:04:29] probably is some.
[00:04:31] Truth to what Adam Grant is saying. In terms of that powerless communication, we do it all the time when we’re seeking people to become guests on the show and actually asking the questions is one of my favorite sayings. We’ve got two ears and or mouth for a reason.
[00:04:44] So look, I’m not gonna go into all the other studies that were mentioned. And Adam Grant also has a YouTube. A Ted talk, I believe on the power of powerless communications as well. So maybe we’re checking that one out after this Monday memo, if you’re interested in following up.
[00:04:59] So look, hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. If you did, please remember the share with your friends and colleagues when all the major platforms it stitch your SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon music.
[00:05:09] And as always, we really appreciate you tuning in today. So on. So next time take care of yourselves and let’s keep on building our strength and the numbers.