5 Techniques to Optimize Opportunities

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I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I don’t take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been awarded. I’ll go to a conference, attend an event, or find myself in a meeting that I get absolutely nothing out of.

It’s not because the event was worthless. If that was the case, I would not attend, or I would leave prematurely. The real reason is that I wasn’t prepared.

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Here are five techniques I’ve learned to use to make sure that I make the most of every opportunity.

1. I set expectations.

When I don’t expect anything, it’s hard to know whether or not my time has been well spent. By setting clear expectations and then “leaning in” to them, I make sure that I have clear goals and work hard to achieve them.

2. I have courage.

My natural introversion often gets in my way. I have to convince myself to be bold. By psyching myself up for a public event, I can build the courage that I need to make sure that I optimize my time.

3. I ask questions.

When I fail to ask questions, I fail to understand. I develop questions that deepen my understanding and help me engage with the content. By seeking clarity, I accelerate my own learning.

4. I give generously.

When I am selfish, I turn inward and fail to engage. I purposefully look for opportunities to help others get the most out of their experience. By giving, I build relationships, help others, and put into practice what I’m learning.

5. I get pragmatic.

When I stay theoretical, I risk missing the point. Very few events are intended to simply instill knowledge for its own sake. By purposefully looking for areas to put into practice, I ensure that my participation results in tangible benefits.

Full engagement requires more than attendance. Are you fully engaged in the things you participate in? If not, give these a try. If so, what techniques have you learned to engage more fully?

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