How do you approach absolutely brand new, hey-I’ve-never-done-this-before-in-my-life situations?
If you’re working with someone who HAS done this before, here’s something you might try: “Hey, friend, I’ve never once done this before. I’m excited to learn, I’m ready to jump in, but as of this exact moment I’ve no clue how to do this. What should I be thinking about?”
More often than not, with new and tricky things, people jump right into the tricky thing (“this is a big deal, we better get started!”) instead of spending time talking about HOW they’re going to do what they have to do.
“I’m new to this…” ignites a conversation that will inevitably set agendas, define how the work is going to be done, roles, strategies….instead of getting stuck in the weeds of Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 of the project. It also demonstrate the confidence of showing vulnerability – if you say this in the right way and with the right attitude, what comes across is, “I’m a doer. I’m planning to do a great job here. Help me take that first step.”
Plus, more likely than not, by asking this question, you make learning how to do “this” (whatever “this” is) one of the goals of the project. You put your own learning and growth on the agenda.