"I am dedicated to my company and I want the company to be more effective than it is; yet each time I meet with others and share my solutions or ideas, they disregard my comments. I know my ideas can make us perform better but I am not getting through to them, they say I am a know-it-all. How do I overcome an image of being a “know-it-all”?"
When you are working with others, especially in a team environment, it is extremely important to be viewed as one of the team. You want to collaborator not a dominator.
Established organizations and teams have cultures that must be considered when trying to interact with others or when trying to make permanent changes. Here are a few suggestions that I guarantee will help you improve your image:
1. Recognize that only you can overcome your current image and it will take time.
2. Be persistent and patient. Practice these suggested changes right away, but I expect you will slip back into your old ways periodically, so apologize to those around you and start again. Don’t expect to change anything or anyone after one or two meetings.
3. Be a listener. You were given two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion and use them wisely with your objective in mind.
4. Don’t push but lead others to your ideas. You may be right, but rather than forcing your opinions on them and dominate the discussions, ask questions that will create a path that leads them to your solution. Ask those questions with sincerity in your voice, not indifference.
5. Recognize there may be multiple right answers. Don’t disregard the suggestions of others by thinking that there is only one correct answer. At least consider that others in the meeting may have a different but valid solution.
6. Give others the credit. The more you focus on being a team player and less on always being right, the more receptive the organization will be to your suggestions.
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