If you want to get ahead in your career. If you want to stand out in your career.

Use this one tip.

Give people something to react to.

That’s it!

When your manager asks for something … give them something to react to. It will help them know you have thought about the project. It will also force you to think about the project or task in a way that requires a presentation in some form – it could be in-person and oral, it could be a PowerPoint, it could be over the phone or via a webchat. The point is, you want to … Give ‘em something to react to.

In the real world this is not hard to do, but it can be daunting.

  • It’s easy to come up with ideas
  • It’s easy to throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall
  • It’s easy to make big guesses

It’s a lot harder to put something down that is more concrete and tangible.

Sure, it can be risky and scary to put something out there. But, if you want to stand out in your career this is a great skill to learn early and apply often.

In the real world some people are really good at generating ideas and that’s a great thing and that’s a great skill. Some people are really good at deciphering which ideas are more viable and filtering out the truly great ideas. Again, this is a great skill. If part of your role is to come up with ideas and think them through then you may want to use this tip. The more you use it the better you will become at using it.

Remember … Give ’em Something To React To

Putting it Out There

This means thinking through an idea, concept or scenario. It doesn’t need to be one specific thing, but it can be. It doesn’t need to be the be-all, end-all, final scenario, solution or proposal. However, let’s be honest preparing to Give ’em Something To React To and putting it out there makes most people feel a little bit vulnerable. Let that fear help you as you stand out in your career.

Testing Your Ideas

There are numerous ways to get your ideas out there and there are a few tools that can help you sanity check your ideas amongst a friendly group. Some businesses have different models – some use storyboards, some use PowerPoint, some use six page reports where everybody has to read them before the meeting starts. There is no single right answer. Some scenarios can be enhanced by using some of the more modern tools like enterprise social networks.

Iteration and Ideation Matters
Using enterprise social networking apps like Slack, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams can help you text what you put out there.

As you prepare to Give ’em Something To React To use the tools at your fingertips to test, evaluate and sanity check your ideas. You can also use some of the tips and ideas from my post Who is Challenging your Thinking? too.

Embracing A Growth Mindset

As I wrote about in Fixed or Growth — Why Your Mindset Matters there are two mindsets that can determine your altitude and perhaps your attitude. By embracing a growth mindset mentality it can be a lot easier to really take that chance, make that leap of faith, and put something out there.

What will you put out there? What will you Give ’em to react to?