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As a music fan, I love going down the proverbial rabbit hole with Rick Beato’s YouTube channel.

Beato is a musician, songwriter, and producer whose 3.27 million subscribers sign up to hear him opine on all things music. He has produced over 100 episodes of What Makes This Song Great, most of which generate over 1 million views.

His most popular content is The Top 20……….Of All Time series, with his Top 20 Rock Guitar Solos of All Time episode racking up over 11 million views to date.

Clearly Beato has credibility with the upper echelon of rock stars having secured lengthy interviews with the likes of Sting and Brian May, among others.

Rick Beato does what all smart experts do to build credibility and lift their profile with their target audience – he has opinions he willingly shares openly and often.

Rick’s opinions make for very popular viewing. Most episodes of his The Top 20………….Of All Time series easily exceed viewer numbers for his Sting interview (2.3 million views).

The value of voicing opinions has been validated through the results of three large-scale research projects published in the Harvard Business Review earlier this month.

The authors explored a wide range of interpersonal situations with a total of more than 7,000 participants, and concluded that failing to weigh in with your opinion can make you seem less likable and harm your relationships.

Here’s a breakdown of the research’s main findings.

1) Easygoing Isn’t Likable: The first research project looked at how people reacted when asking a friend or acquaintance what restaurant, movie, or museum they’d prefer to go to. No matter the context, the participants almost always said they wanted their companion to pick a specific option — and when their companion chose not to (which they often did, out of a desire to seem easygoing), the participants found their counterparts less likable, and they became less interested in initiating future outings with them.

Participants consistently reported that it was harder for them to make a decision when their friend refused to express an opinion, and this unpleasant decision-making experience often harmed their impression of their friend.

2) No Opinion Implies a Negative Opinion: Another reason withholding a preference can backfire is that when someone claims not to care, it can seem like they actually do have an opinion, but are hiding it to avoid conflict. The researchers found that when someone says they don’t have a preference, the decision maker often assumes the other person is only saying that because they have the opposite preference to theirs. When this happens, the decision maker is more likely to choose the option that they themselves don’t want (because they assume that’s what their counterpart really prefers), ultimately making them that much less satisfied with the interaction.

3) Staying Silent Can Be Dehumanising: Consistently, the researchers found that people who shared an opinion — whether positive or negative — came across as having more of an individual, distinct identity, while those who withheld their opinions seemed robotic and less human.

4) Effective Managers Encourage — and Model — Healthy Self-Expression: Driven by a desire to be helpful, minimise conflict, and contribute to a collaborative workplace, employees and managers alike are sometimes reluctant to share their personal preferences or provide opinions on joint decisions. But the research demonstrates how this approach can actually harm relationships, making people come across as less effective and less likable.

When senior leaders openly share their preferences it helps combat perceptions that they are aloof or lacking in humanity. Indeed, rather than alienating employees, the research suggests that expressing an opinion — even if it’s one that people disagree with — can help leaders come across as more human, more competent, and more likable.

Multiple times each day recruiters have the opportunity to express their opinion and in many cases, they fail to do so effectively.

Here are the most important opinions recruiters should consider offering:

  • Recommend, rather than ask for, exclusivity (or a retainer): Recruiters who are most effective at winning exclusivity recommend that engagement model so the client understands how exclusivity helps them secure a better candidate, compared to a resume-race.
  • Recommend, rather than present a job: Be assertive, rather than passive, in recommending a job to a candidate, by providing supporting reasons for your recommendation aligned to the candidate’s skills and motivation.
  • Recommend, rather than present, candidates: Be assertive, rather than passive, in recommending a candidate for an interview, by providing supporting reasons for your recommendation and offering interview times that are suitable for your candidate.
  • Offer an opinion, rather than stay silent, on an offer’s suitability, regardless of whether the offer is through you, or not: I built credibility with my candidates by recommending they should seriously consider an offer when it wasn’t for one of my jobs. In the short term, I risked losing the candidate however I was more focused on the long-term benefit to my reputation and the respect I gained from candidates in suggesting they seriously consider an offer that was contrary to my short-term commercial best interests.

I was lucky during my formative years as an agency recruiter as I benefited from training that helped me express my opinion effectively.

Many hiring managers and candidates are confused or ignorant about the realities of the current labour market and need an expert opinion more than ever before.

Are you ready, willing, and skilled to provide that opinion?

The research shows that sharing your opinion is almost always a win-win.

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Schadd Montgomery

Really good read Ross so thanks for sharing this. I recently listened to a podcast that included using a ‘this is what I am recommending’ approach to improve your positive influence and outcomes in client interactions. It also reminded me in part of the Challenger Sale style that you originally started sharing quite some years back now.
What are your thoughts on that?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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