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Does My Title Leave You Disgruntled?

This week we’re looking at an important subject that relates to how we go about looking for and evaluating potential resources to work with.

OK, it’s actually all about people, and how we get to know them and decide if we want to work with them.

Long time readers know about my penchant for creating acronyms or mnemonics to remember things, and this one, “kilter” is a bit of a stretch, I’ll admit.

The fact that we typically talk about its opposite, i.e. “off kilter” or “out of kilter” reminded me of another common word whose opposite doesn’t really sound right or even exist.

If this has you disgruntled, I invite you to consider its positive version, and imagine that it won’t leave you “gruntled”.

The Genesis of KiLTeR

Back to the subject at hand, considering people we may want to work with, and how to think about them.

For years I’ve been known to speak about people while noting whether or not I “know” them, “like” them, and “trust” them.

Whenever anyone brings up the name of someone and asks for my opinion, my go-to reflex is to share that they tick these three boxes, if that is in fact true.

“Oh yes, I know her, like her and trust her”, which typically leads to a nice exchange, and which presumably gives comfort to the other person.

That covers the K, L, and T, and more recently I’ve added the R, for respect.

Let’s break down all four now.

Knowing Someone Who Can Help

Naturally we need to start with whether or not you know someone, which seems straightforward.

Of course there are different levels of knowing someone, running from simple name recognition to whether or not you’ve spent the night at someone’s home and know their family members.

As someone who puts lots of content out there, many people “know” me, which is all by design, but most readers don’t get too far beyond knowing my work and into knowing the real me.

Liking Them Enough to Want to Bring Them In

Whether or not you like someone can also be tricky, as there are lots of people for whom my opinion has changed over time, and in both directions.

But if I don’t currently like someone, chances are that I don’t want to spend much time with them or even discussing them, much less recommending to someone that they may wish to work with them.

Trusting Them to Serve Your Client Well

Now we’re getting into the more important areas, and sharing whether or not you trust someone.

Again, this is not as simple as it might appear.

I trust my mother implicitly, but that doesn’t mean that I’d recommend you work with her to solve a computer issue.

I’m trying to make the point that when weighing the question of trust, it’s pretty important to understand the task at hand and the particular circumstances that need to be dealt with.

There are lots of people I know and like, but the number of them that I also trust, especially when you’re looking at particularly tricky situations, is a much smaller subset.

So when asking about trust, make sure you clarify “trust them for what?”

Respecting Their Work No Matter What

So we’ve now arrived at the latest addition to my list to complete KiLTeR, respect.

In many ways it’s the perfect capstone, but in others it may not actually be a good fit.

Presumably, if I know, like, and trust someone, I’ll probably respect them too. But it feels like there’s another level there, and maybe it’s something that needs to be built up towards over time.

Part of me feels like respect grows with time and repetition, but maybe that applies to trust too(?)

And that doesn’t even cover people you respect even though you might not know them or like them, which is also possible.

The High Bar of All Four

In the end though, if someone ticks all four of those boxes, that’s a pretty high bar

Getting to know someone is more fun when you also instantly like them, and then the more you get to know them, hopefully the trust and respect will grow as well.

Circling back to my title, about seeking resources, my hope is that my “kilter” mnemonic will be helpful in creating a sort of check list you can use.