The enablement people skills we used when we were young were simple and effective. Who can resist the mommy hug for no reason, the Puss in Boots (from Shrek movies) cutesy appeal, or the undignified beg to the music of ice cream truck? Yet what you could make happen was limited to a new bike, staying up late or an ice cream cone. As an adult, your dreams and big ideas are only limited by your imagination and the five competencies that help make almost anything happen:
- Knowledge – “understand it”
- Enablement People Skills – “secure support and commitment”
- Realities Aptitude – “see it coming”
- Creativity – “new idea acceptance”
- Enduring Grit – “thousands of small choices to make one big thing happen”
Enablement people skills are used to dislodge people for a moment from their daily demands to listen. They help inspire people to offer advice and support. They can motivate people to commit and act on behalf of your dream or big idea. Angel investors and Venture Capital firms would rather invest in serial entrepreneurs who mastered enablement people skills than a great idea.
Even if you don’t have a dream or a big idea, the mastery of enablement people skills will help ensure you will never be replaced by a computer. The complexity of motivating a human to take a desired action or ensuring a great personalized experience is simply no match for a computer algorithm or artificial intelligence. If you don’t believe me, just ask the next automated phone attendant you speak with.
1. Empathy is relating and tailoring to the stakeholders, influencers, potential customers, family, friends or anyone else impacted by the enablement. The source of disagreements or being dismissed is often from people who believed you understand them or the situation.
2. Authenticity is having the confidence to show your true self, to be vulnerable, humble and sincere. People want to know you. We do value confidence in doctors, airline pilots and politicians, yet not at the expense of humility, overconfidence or insincerity.
3. Reverence is the ability to respect a person and their opinions. It is demonstrating a sincere interest by asking why like you did as a child. This respect will be rewarded by seeing the world through multiple lenses, which is critical to making things happen.
4. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be approachable, non-defensive and receptive to opinions you vehemently disagree with or speak unfavorable of you. The ability to let someone feel safe in sharing does hurt, yet what you don’t know can hurt even more.
5. Engagement is the ability to make people comfortable, find you informative and fun. It’s those little things we often regret later like the hug that was shunned, not thinking of something to say or just being boring.
6. Dialog is the smooth exchange of thoughts in both a verbal and non-verbal way. It is listening, interpreting, acknowledging, staying on subject and creating an intimate feeling between people.
7. Language has transformed in a single generation from predominately spoken to written form with email, text messages and social media. While actions are more important than words, we are familiar with how words can start, confuse, and terminate a discussion and/or a relationship.
8. Relationship Development is the ability to develop trust, connections, value and friendship. This is the most rewarding part of the enablement of a dream, big idea or creating an experience.
9. Presence is to avoid distracting from the message (positively or negatively) with physical, online presence or reputation. It includes everything from clothing, grooming, Facebook page to the lack of a social media presence (e.g., a marketing expert).
10. Leadership is the ability to establish that you are a competent thought leader, credible authority and are committed to doing the right thing. Once established, you can inspire people to follow you and your big idea in support of your desired outcome.
11. Enterprising is the ability to find the intersection of what you want and what they want to get their support for enablement. It is the ability to find the win-win and instill confidence you are committed to a win-win going forward.
12. Networking is the ability to initial contact, make connections of value and nourish your new and long term contacts on a regular basis.
13. Execution is establishing the credibility that you will make it happen. You know what it takes, are tenacious and have a history of finishing. It is getting people to help and managing people in a way that makes them proud to be a part of it and committed to the mission.
My daughters have been frustrated by group projects in school. One says the boys try to convince her to do most of the work to ensure the best grade. The other was upset by a team member who handed her inferior work at the last minute, thus requiring her to rework it to ensure the team gets a good grade. I told my daughters that these group projects are invaluable in developing enablement people skills. My daughters obviously wanted a little empathy from their Dad, an enablement people skill they believe I need to work on.
If you fly on Jet Blue, spend a day in Disney World or order shoes from Zappos, you know three companies committed to friendly smiles, fun and the enablement of a great experience. They use enablement people skills, which you can use to make your dream, big idea or almost anything happen.