A technique to counter an oversized ego
Imagine you could were standing with your face a couple of centimetres from the largest rock in Australia, which is called Uluru.
You look up and are awe struck for several moments by how huge and enormous the rock is. Take a few moments to imagine that.
Now come back to the present, and consider this.
Compared to the size of your ego, Uluru is tiny.
If the hairs on the back of your neck are rising now, you’ve just had a bodily reaction of judgement.
Now, THE ABOVE SCENARIO WAS NOT MEANT TO INSULT YOU. I’m not suggesting you have a big ego.
Rather it was shared to dramatise a point.
Let me explain.
In the first meeting I have with a pitch team that is competing for a prized piece of business, I relay the above scenario to the group.
The reason I do this is to expose any oversized egos that are in the room.
After relaying the scenario, I tell the pitch team members that during our work on the pitch, they should always picture an imaginary box in the room. Whenever the group is working on the pitch, they should imagine that their ego is a physical object in their head, and they can get take it out of their head, and put it in the box.
When we are finished with the meeting, they can ‘take’ their ego back.
My field work reveals that if the ‘ego in the box’ technique is not done, junior members of the pitch team may be hesitant to disagree with senior members of the pitch team, for fear of retribution or fear of embarrassing those senior people.
This ‘ego in the box’ technique encourages all pitch team members, regardless of rank, to contribute and offer ideas freely – ideas that could make the difference between winning the business and coming in second place.
In essence the technique’s focus is on ‘What’s right, versus Who’s right’. With this approach and with the team repeatedly asking WECWD (What Else Could We Do) that our competitors won’t do – all things being equal, we’ll win the business.
Your CALL to action/HOW to apply for this post: Trial the ‘ego in the box’ technique with your BDM colleagues when your pitching for business. If it works for you, make the technique an integral part of your business development team meetings.