Let me start by saying that this week I was struggling with what to write – I had a totally great experience a couple of weeks ago, and (now that everything is signed) knew that what I wanted to write came from that, but wasn’t really sure what it was.
Let’s start with what happened.
I was looking for a good room to deliver some of our training in, lots of “sorry… HOW MUCH?!?!” conversations later and I found myself standing in a big, light (airy), rectangular room with a view in the perfect location with plenty of plugs, great internet speeds and a lovely big empty wall to project onto AND A VIEW. I was standing opposite the guy who literally (literally) held the key.
All that we had to do was agree on the price. Now I don’t want to get too literal and this story certainly is not about the intricacies of what we agreed but to illustrate what’s happened we’ll change the units a bit to make it nice and straightforward. Essentially I desperately wanted to pay 7 but would have payed 8 he desperately wanted to receive 9 (10, 11 and more of course) but based on what happened could accept 7.
I think the fact that we were in a large empty room (did I mention it has A VIEW!!!) helped, but I said “How much?” he said “10”, I laughed and said “sure, but how much really?” he laughed and said “9” - I said something like "let's not stop there", he said something about not being "able to go below 8" and then there was a truly wonderful moment where we both sort of stopped and realised that, without meaning to, we’d been sort of walking in a circle keeping each other at the opposite side. I looked up at him we caught each other’s eye and genuinely burst out laughing, not a chuckle, a full on tears in the eye, “what on earth are we doing?” laugh. Typically I’d exaggerate how long for, but I won’t, we genuinely laughed uncontrollably for 45 seconds and then another minute of sighing, wiping eyes and gathering ourselves.
I then said, “I really can only do 7” and he said “that’s fine”. We shook hands, and very nearly had a full on embrace before saying our goodbyes and I walked back to the office.
…….the long intro is fast becoming an Arch Graduates blog tradition!
So what did I take from all this. Well, like I said at the beginning I wasn’t really sure. But here is where I got to. Just before I launch into this it's worth mentioning that I don’t necessarily think that my conclusion (or hypothesis?) below is directly related to what happened above, but it led me there so, well, stop worrying about/let it go/let's move on.
I think there are certain things in business where the measure of success is enjoyment. Let me write that in different words to make sure it’s clear what I’m trying to say. There are certain things in business you have to do where, in general, if you’re enjoying it you’re probably doing it well. Some Examples you ask? Sure, networking – well, if you’re enjoying the networking event you’re at, you’re enjoying the conversations you’re having then you’re probably doing really well and it’s probably going to yield some great outcomes.
If you’re enjoying the presentation you’re giving then it’s probably going great. If you’re enjoying the presentation you’re receiving that’s probably cause it’s interesting and being delivered well. If you are enjoying the interview that you’re having or giving it’s because you’re doing well. If you’re enjoying the negotiation you’re in then you’re probably going to come out with a great price.
How much you enjoy what you’re doing will generally give you a pretty good gauge of how well you’re doing it.
I’m not saying, for a second that if you’re not enjoying something then it’s not going well. I’m also not saying that by definition if it’s enjoyable what you create at the end is necessarily brilliant, I’m saying, in general if you are enjoying the meeting, interview, presentation, negotiation or call that you’re on then you can probably assume it’s going well.
……….So back to the training room. I don’t think that my point is necessarily what was going on there, I think we just had a weird “back to reality” moment where we both realised that what we were doing was kind of ridiculous and the eye contact kind of disarmed us both. But it led me to the points above and I stand by them.
I think we can proactively work to find the enjoyment in what we do and that when you get to the point where you’re genuinely enjoying it, well, my guess is, in most cases you're very good at it too. I also think, just by trying to find the pleasure in these typical work activities will make you a more engaging colleague and a more successful person regardless. So give it a go!
Have great weekends all.