You can have credentials and accomplishments up the wazoo, but if you don’t have a strong and clear Point of View, you’re still a credentialed and accomplished worker bee, not an industry leader.Your point of view is your unique perspective about your topic, and what is at stake. Click To Tweet
Problem is, clear Points of View can also get you in trouble. A participant in last week’s Executive Presence Challenge shared how his Point of View gained him respect from some people, but ultimately led to his leaving the company. His point of view was that it’s not okay to massage a woman’s shoulders at work if she doesn’t want that.
It’s not easy to have a Point of View. To be clear, having a strong Point of View doesn’t mean you have to shout it in everyone’s face. Your Point of View is the position from which you make decisions and the direction in which you’re moving.
CAVEAT! A credible Point of View relates to your area of expertise. Being a linguistics scholar does not make people want to know your preferred economic policy.
Crafting you Point of View is a matter of excavating and polishing your opinions that have been marinating in your brain, perhaps unstated, for quite some time now.
Think of it this way. Without an articulated Point of View, you come across as beige. Beige as in blending in with your professional peers. Your Point of View lights you up, adds color and contrast in a work world of greige. (greige = gray + beige)
Here are some prompts to develop your Point of View:
Your point of view might be along the lines of…
- What annoys you about your industry?
- What frustrates you about your industry?
- What you want to see more of at work?
- What you want to see less of at work?
- What do you want to say but fear retaliation if you state it?
Your answers to these questions may not be inspiring on the first draft but don’t let that stop you. Great communication requires editing.
Your Point of View is an informed opinion of what should be.
“This stinks!” may be a true statement but it is not an informed point of view. It’s too general and does not propose any sort of solution.
Here is my Point of View on the communication coaching business:
Laura Camacho is obsessed with helping creatives and technical professionals flourish professionally (by “flourish” she means “make bank”). She believes all conversations should be compelling and carried out with style and enthusiasm. And a presentation is just one type of conversation.
- “My role in IT is enabling others to better perform their job. Therefore when someone comes to me with an issue, I don’t look at it as a problem, but rather an opportunity to excel.” – Trevor Burnette, IT Director at Mayne Pharma
- “All dams can and should be made safe. As a society we need to find the political will to enforce the reasonable and sound dam safety regulations in place in SC. Regulations without enforcement are dangerous.” – Denise Bunte-Bisnett, PE, Principal Engineer, Santee Cooper
- “Innovation is a way of life in the healthcare industry. By nature, the complexity of environment in hospitals demands that we continually question everything we do that touches the patient and the community.” – Beju Shah, Clinical Informatics Pharmacist at MUSC
You can state something that needs to change without being offensive about it. You do that by stating the (potential) solution, not the problem, which probably everyone already knows about.
Stating your points of view, or POVs, are helpful in your team meetings, presentations, networking conversations, pitches and job interviews. Stating your point of view gives people a clearer idea of who you are and the value you add.
Being brave enough to state a strong point of view communicates confidence. This also sets the stage for more interesting and productive conversation.
Without a strong point of view, any talk is useless and boring.
What do you stand for? That’s your point of view. Share it in your conversations, presentations and LinkedIn summary. We’re tired of beige, present yourself in Living Color.