Years ago, it was thought an alchemist had the power to turn base metals into gold. However, successful people have learnt that turning something ordinary into something of great value doesn’t have to be a complex or costly process, writes Arti Halai.
Here are three things you can do that will add value to others, clients and your organisation:
1. Tell the truth
Today, increasingly we have become used to hearing what people think we want to hear instead of what is really happening. If you have failed to deliver on something, then be honest and explain why as well as suggesting some alternatives. Communication is key. Often, with a client this is best done through a phone call or face-to-face meeting with someone. If you are disappointed about something, then don’t let it churn inside your mind, it is important to tell the other person. I often compere or host events and awards, and sometimes organisers try to cram too much into the event. I will remind them to think about the audience and what they set out to achieve at the outset.
2. Deliver with confidence
When you are working with a client, you should remember that you have both invested in a common goal. However, when they said ‘yes’ to working with you the transfer of power shifted slightly in your favour. They trust you as the expert and you shouldn’t shy away from the difficult task of standing your ground, should the need arise. I once worked with a client whose lawyer strongly advised him not to say a word, whilst his ex-wife went on a national daytime TV show to air her grievances. I challenged the lawyer’s decision and in the end the client put out a short statement to be read by the presenter. The result? An outpouring of sympathy for my client and backlash against his ex-wife. We know it would have been a very different outcome if he had remained silent.
3. Let your personality shine
Be genuine and enthusiastic when you engage with others. For me, enthusiasm is a blend of positive emotion and energy. Is there any other way to be? I remember when I was looking for my first job in television, I was naïve, had no contacts in the media or any knowledge of how the industry operated. My first CV – designed to look like an A5 magazine – secured me a work experience placement with London Weekend Television in its news and current affairs department. I was told the editor of the programme found it amusing, memorable and different.
While this might not be true alchemy in action, these tips should provide genuine value to your interactions on a daily basis.
Arti Halai is one of the founding directors of Fleet Street Communications