Become a priority to the people who are a priority to you

6th November 2012

There are some people who make a big difference to your success at work: your bosses, key customers, colleagues and the like.

And it’s essential you’re ‘front of mind’ with them when it matters. This, of course, isn’t always easy.

So here’s a simple 3-step approach (my 3Hs) to becoming more important in their eyes:

  • Hot buttons?
  • How to help?
  • How about?

In other words:

1. Uncover what their current hot buttons are. Ask them questions like:“What are your priorities at the minute? What are you working on? What is your key focus until the end of the year?”

[The output: you know their priorities]

2. Find how they think you can help, by asking “How can I best help with that?”

[The output: you both know how they’d like you to be involved. Or you’re invited to contribute when they say “I don’t know. What do you suggest?”]

3. Say “how about …” and suggest ways you can help them achieve their priorities

[The output: they know new ways you could help them]

The 3Hs work well. The first H tells you where their heads are at. The second uncovers how they want you to help (they’ll often say something you wouldn’t have thought of). The third gives them new ideas that they wouldn’t have thought of, for you to contribute.

This technique is certainly better than waiting by the phone – hoping, praying they’ll call.

Action point

Identify the person(s) you want to be more ‘front of mind’ with. Then, contact them, and use the 3Hs. You’ll know it’s worked when:

  • They talk more than you do, and;
  • You have clear next steps about how you’ll help them with their key priorities



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