We need to form partnerships and collaborations quickly – and make decisions as to how profitable, sustainable and happy these will be.
And most of us would prefer to work in an atmosphere which is respectful, creative and fun even, sometimes…
But there’s an aspect of rapid trust building gets overlooked frequently:
Value of Opinion
- Nip into any popular blog comment stream, and what do you find? People being effusive or snarky – and occasional interesting opinion. Track the commentators back on to their home turf and it’ll be the opinionated who are on their way to becoming thought leaders, which is a posh way here of saying popular bloggers.
- When a collaboration is being set up lighting quickly, we want to know: what roles everyone is playing, what have they done in the past, what is their take on things – whether we agree or otherwise
- Where we feel rookie or that we are in an alien subject area, we can always let people know this, with a ‘well I just have very partial knowledge here, but it would seem to me…’
- And listening first to others helps.
- Often when teams form there are unconscious battles for control and influence over the group. Opinions get subsumed and matter less as people don’t hear so well. We may have to ask ourselves: ‘What matters most to me, being in charge here or getting my opinion through? ‘ ( Am I after title power or expert power mostly?)
Not getting your opinion through?
Then you can try broken record (Margaret Thatcher’s key tactic: repetition, repetition, repe…), presenting contrasting evidence from various directions (pincer attack), or spreading yourself more thinly into other projects with different specializations and gender mixes.
As a quick aside, my biggest fees have always been for being most opinionated, as people who are going places don’t like fence sitters. Your opinions are evidence you’re steeped in your specialization, you care greatly about it and that you are constantly analyzing what is going on and influencing your sector.
Come to think of it – if you don’t have an opinion, why are you there?