Looking With The Eyes Of Others: 3 Ways to Increase Your Options

Recently, I was assisting a healthcare organization focused on expanding their business activity as a tactic to succeed in an adjacent geographical marketplace.  They had a defined idea of what they wanted to provide, but when they met the payer for services (a mixture of public and private money) they were told to retool their proposal to the payer’s perspective.  The flummoxed CEO walked away indicting that he “would get back” with them, but he was also heard to say “but that’s not what we proposed.”

No two people see the world quite the same, which adds to the diversity of our experience, but can be confounding to our well-intentioned plans.

When you step back and look through the eyes of someone else, like the payers in this case, you may learn a few things.

  1. Your marketplace is going to react to your proposal in a manner that you can’t control and you will probably hear some differing perspectives on the future.  Great executives at least listen and consider diverging viewpoints. The best leaders welcome challenges as a way to strengthen their offering.
  2. After listening to what the marketplace says, successful leaders often step back to ask themselves:  is this a strategic or tactical issue?  Often they find that it is tactical, and working with the customer to provide good service creatively is a win for all, without sacrificing your big picture direction.
  3. If you can be responsive to the suggestions of a customer or payer within your strategic framework you inevitably increase your opportunities.   Why?  Because people appreciate flexibility and are more likely to see you as a collaborator with whom they wish to work on future ventures.

There is a difference between tactical creativity and giving up your economic soul for one business opportunity.  There may be situations in which you say “this is not for us but I can make a referral (great idea for future relationships!).”  And most of the time it is the willingness of leadership to look through the eyes of another and see that there are many ways to increase everyone’s prosperity.