Authenticity in Sales: Guest Appearance with Brian Burns

Brian Burns invited me to be a guest on his fantastic podcast, “The Brutal Truth About Sales and Selling.” We talked about the critical role of authenticity in sales — and how to get there.

Here’s a link to the episode. Listen here.

We discuss the death of the canned pitch, the dangers of being too scripted, the importance of preparation, and specific techniques for allowing your true self into the sales relationship, where I promise it will work for you.

Folks are already telling me that it’s changed the game for them.  Let me know if it’s valuable to you.  Let Brian know too.

I wholeheartedly recommend his podcast to anyone remotely involved in sales.  Subscribe to: “The Brutal Truth About Sales and Selling.”


One Tool. A Competitive Advantage.

By Aaron Schmookler, Adam Utley, and Rachel Lionheart (in collaboration)

 

Most leaders, when asked, say that their team has the skills it needs to perform better than average. When asked specifically about communication, however, they say it needs to get better.  When asked about teamwork, they say it needs to get better.  When asked about innovation, they say it needs to get better.  When asked about the ability to cope with the unexpected and with change, they say it needs to get better.

This article will arm you with a powerful tool for making work on your team better indeed.

Would you like communication, teamwork, innovation and coping with the unexpected to improve on your team?  Do assumptions gum up the works of effective communication? Does fear prevent people from communicating when they first realize they’re likely to miss a deadline?  Are your people satisfied with the status quo when you know growth is essential for outpacing the competition?

Incremental improvements at work often take too much work for too little return.  But our clients easily make substantial improvements to communication, so they reap unprecedented cohesion on their teams, enjoy lucrative innovation, and take change in stride. You can make strides too, with a single tool from Theater Improvisation.

Why improvisation? Life isn’t scripted. The unexpected happens. Change happens. And Darwin can tell you, if you don’t adapt to change, if you can’t respond relevantly to the unexpected, you won’t survive.  Most companies do ok with the unexpected. Most companies respond ok to change.  But ok is not going to bring your dreams for the future to fruition.

The tool I’ve promised, and one of the principles we teach in our workshops, is BE OBVIOUS. Webster says obvious means, “easy for the mind to understand or recognize, clear, self-evident, or apparent.” Once you and your team try it, you’ll agree… BE OBVIOUS is a superpower.

“Originality is born in the associations individuals make. Innovation is association. Collaboration, in a culture of contribution and obvious communication, accelerates the process.”

We coach our clients to BE OBVIOUS in a few distinct business arenas–the three C’s:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Conflict management.

Collaboration is communication. And it works best with a constant flow of ideas to build from — a flow of ideas generated by each all team-members. No idea can be formed in a vacuum. No ideas are born from nothing. Every idea in the history of ideas has been inspired something else. You can’t stop ideas from coming.  Blockages of ideas don’t exist–only blockages of expression, of communication.  Fear stops the communication and proliferation of ideas.  Fear of failure.  Fear of ridicule.  Fear that one’s idea is not original enough…

Keith Johnstone, improviser extraordinaire, says, “The more obvious you are, the more original you appear.”  So many simple but profound business opportunities are lost in striving to come up with “clever or disruptive ideas.”  One idea leads to another. Give attention and voice to your idea, no matter how simple, and it will lead to another idea, either in your own mind, or in the mind of a collaborator. Speak the obvious associations your mind is making, and they will lead to others. If your collaborators do the same, you follow one idea after another, down the rabbit-hole, and into Wonderland.

Consider the Post-it note.  On the face of it, this was a failed attempt at 3M to create a strong adhesive. But upon encountering this “failed” adhesive, someone spoke what was obvious to them, and this lucrative use for a weak adhesive is now found in nearly every home and office in the country–indeed around the world.

Take one of the most successful toys in history — the slinky.  It too was a failure, intended to stabilize ships’ instruments.  The inventor, dejected, put it on a shelf. His wife later knocked it off, and saw it’s remarkable stepping ability. And a toy was born.

Take the case of a truck which got stuck under too low an overpass.  Engineers, police, and towing professionals scratched their heads, trying to devise a strategy for removing the truck that would not destroy the bridge, or further damage the truck. Evidently, it took the obvious observation of a ten year old boy who said, obviously, “Why don’t you let the air out of the tires?

Originality is born in the associations individuals make. Innovation is association. Collaboration, in a culture of contribution and obvious communication, accelerates the process.

Conflict is communication.  Conflict on a team often results from one team member judging the ideas and contributions of another.

“Let’s open an office in Siberia.”

“What…..That’s just stupid.”

The Siberia office idea generator is likely to feel defensive and either shut down or fight.  Witnesses to the interaction are likely to perceive an unfriendly environment for their own ideas and clam up themselves. And it needn’t be so blatant as this to degrade the ‘culture of contribution.’  Something as seemingly bland as, “Really?  Siberia?” is enough to shame people into silence, or gird them for battle.

BE OBVIOUS has the power to completely transform the interaction from one that degrades relationships and productivity to one that builds them.

“Let’s open an office in Siberia.”

The knee-jerk judgment that that is stupid results from an earlier thought.  Maybe, “Siberia’s really cold.  Siberia’s really far away.”  So, instead of, “That’s just stupid,” the OBVIOUS response to “Let’s open an office in Siberia,” is, “Siberia’s really cold and really far away.”

Now, there’s information in the room that can help everyone, the original speaker included, to assess the idea’s merits in their own minds.  The relationship has not been degraded.  The fight or flight response has not been triggered. The environment still welcomes new ideas. The idea generator may respond, “I thought of Siberia because real estate there is very cheap.”

Then someone else may respond, “Well, the real estate in North Dakota is pretty cheap too.  And it’s not as cold, and it’s not as far away.”

And then building on that, someone else might add what’s obvious to them. “My family is in North Dakota, and I’ve been wanting to move there.”

And in one fell swoop, you’ve got a location for the satellite office and the person to spearhead its opening.  A bad idea is refined to a good one, and other ancillary problems are organically solved along the way.  And relationships are strengthened in a process that breeds group pride in its accomplishments.

Many of you may know the story of Kitty Genovese: She was stabbed to death in 1964 outside her apartment in New York City while bystanders stood by–didn’t even call the police.  This failure to respond has been widely cited as evidence of the heartlessness of New York’s citizens and the general degradation of society.  Social science has since shown us another explanation.  Bystanders likely did not call for help, not because they didn’t care, but because each person presumed someone else would surely call.  Someone else surely had already called, was on the phone even now.  With this diffusion of responsibility, each individual can shrug off personal responsibility.

Who among us has not had a work-project fall to the same fate as Kitty Genovese.  Some detail critical to the success of the project has been overlooked.  Bob knows he’s never heard anyone discussing the obvious problem that the building design the whole team has been working on has no front door.  No one will be able to enter the building.  But doors aren’t his department.  Cathy’s seen the door problem too.  But she’s windows.  Bob and Cathy both assume, “Surely someone is on it. Someone knows, and even though I haven’t heard about it, obviously, someone is fixing this.  Then the design goes to the client.  If the firm is lucky, the client notices and says, “There’s no door.” And the firm suffers embarrassment and delay. If the firm isn’t lucky, the building is erected from the drawings… without a door. And the firm suffers humiliation and is never hired again. All because each person in the chain presumed that it was so obvious that there must be a hidden solution.  Often, the obvious goes unspoken because people are afraid of the ridicule that may come from saying what’s clearly obvious to everyone, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.”  Or they’re afraid of being embarrassed by demonstrating their own incompetence or ignorance of the obvious by saying something that shows they’ve missed what’s as plain as the nose on their face.  “Duh!  The door’s. Right. Here.”  This is an extreme example, but we’ve all wasted work because no one spoke what was obvious to them.

How do you get people to speak what’s obvious?  Get full commitment from everyone to BE OBVIOUS, and to WELCOME the obvious from others.  Will there be redundant communication?  Sure.  But in places that matter, we all install redundant systems.  We drive carefully AND wear seatbelts.  We lock the car AND set the alarm.  We save our files on the local server AND to the cloud.

With a BE OBVIOUS culture, Kitty would still be alive.  And with a BE OBVIOUS culture in your company, projects are delivered on time and under budget.  BE OBVIOUS gets your back.

When everyone has committed to BE OBVIOUS, each person has the responsibility to respond to every obvious need. Not to personally address it, but to at least mention it to the relevant person.  Every manager, every team leader, every executive I’ve asked would rather hear too many times about a growing crisis in the company than not to hear about it at all.

BE OBVIOUS starts with a willingness to say what is plainly and immediately on your mind, beyond the trap of judgement, and build off of the information that surrounds you, in the environment, from your coworkers, from clients.  It takes open-mindedness, commitment to transparency and practice to create a functioning habit in your burgeoning culture of contribution.


The Yes Works on The Grit City Podcast

We loved talking with Brogan and Scott.  There’s a lot of great improv wisdom tucked into this double episode:

PART 1

PART 2


The Elephant in the Room: Make the most of every employee complaint

Recently, the following question about an employee complaint appeared on a message board for Human Resources Professionals:

The Question

What Would You Do?

You are the HR Manager of a small accounting firm consisting of NINE women and ONE man. Once a week, the water jug must be changed, and the women usually ask the one man to replace the 25 pound water jug when it gets empty.

One day, the man comes to you and complains that since everyone drinks water, he should not be the only one called [upon] to change it. He has threatened to complain to the Vice President and the ‪‎EEOC if this office practice continues. What do YOU do as the manager?

The responses posted by the HR pros were troubling and subtly dangerous.  Not dangerous in the sense that they’d leave the firm open to a gender-discrimination law suit.  They wouldn’t.  Rather, they were dangerous in the sense that they’d contribute nothing to the well-being of the firm but instead leave a gaping wound untreated.

Here is a representative selection of responses:

By the Book

  • “Change to a tankless water service that connects directly through the pipes in the kitchen. Ditch the bottles, save money, make everyone happy and save your HR headaches for more important things.”
  • “Tell the Ladies to ‘step up.’”
  • “Make it a requirement for everyone to change the bottle so there are no gender discrimination issues unless there were disability concerns.”

These seem like reasonable solutions to the employee’s complaint.  Why would I call these sensible solutions dangerous? After all, they went straight to asking others to “do their part,” or to use plumbing to obviate the need for anyone to swap water jugs at all. These seem like constructive solutions.

The Danger

What makes these responses dangerous is exemplified in the first response above, “Save your HR headaches for more important things.”  There may be HR matters that are more urgent, but nothing in HR is more important than what’s going on here.

Each HR professional responding to this (hypothetical?) query took this employee’s complaint at face value.  They are all treating this as a gender-discrimination, bottle-swap problem.  This problem is not what it seems.

“The Adeptability principle “Be Obvious” suggests that in any scenario requiring a response, we respond without trying to be smart or clever and without trying to be politically correct (but still having deep empathy).  We act instead from what is most present in our mind in response to the offers we’re getting.”

The Elephant in the Room

This is a human problem, a disgruntled and disengaged worker problem, a morale, teamwork, and culture problem.  Potentially, this is a malcontent, toxic-employee, corrosive to the whole team problem.

There are two principles Apedtability borrows from improvisers which, if employed, would drastically change any response to this complaint—the principle of OFFERS and the principle BE OBVIOUS.

Offers in improvisation are all the sources of information we can respond to.  The words someone says are one source of offers, and there are other sources as well—body language, tone of voice, context, timing, facial expressions, etc.  In this hypothetical case, the context of such a small office including one man is an offer that cannot be ignored. Had this complaint come to me, I would have been stunned by his displeasure.  And, I would not primarily interpret this as a complaint about being asked to load the water bottle.

Which brings me to the Be Obvious principle.  It suggests that in any scenario requiring a response, we respond without trying to be smart or clever and without trying to be politically correct (but still having deep empathy).  We act instead from what is most present in our mind in response to the offers we’re getting.

What’s obvious to me is not that there’s a gender-bias problem here.  It’s not even obvious that the complainer is troubled by being asked to do the bottle-swap.  What’s obvious to me is, “Really?  You’re threatening to take this up the chain of command, and even to a government oversight body designated to punish sexism in the workplace?”  And from there, what’s obvious to me is, “I can’t believe it. That’s crazy.”  That’s internal. The obvious, immediate responses I’d have inside my own mind. And then, most importantly, I arrive at the obvious question, “What’s really going on here?”

The Adeptable Alternative

Therefore, what I posted on this HR forum in response to the query that had others re-plumbing their offices was:

Ask [him] for a sit down. Once there, tell him that you’re committed to resolving the issue. “But before we talk about the water bottles, I’d really love to know how things are going for you here in general. Are there any aspects of your job and your time here that you particularly love? Other than the water, what other problems or complaints do you have? What do you complain about to your wife/friends when you go home?

“Are we using you to your full potential? What responsibilities would you like to be taking on in the next year or two?”

Chances are, if he’s complaining about changing the water, the real issue is something else. Probably, he thinks his strengths are under-utilized.  Likely, he thinks he’s not appreciated for the expertise he brings to the table and which he would like to have recognized.   Perhaps he’s frustrated by his work flow being interrupted for this manual task.

After having THAT conversation, say something like, “Boy, that water bottle sure is heavy for me. I don’t blame you for not wanting the strain of lifting it.” Then ask what he would like to see happen with respect to the water bottle. Chances are, he’ll say, “You know, I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t mind that much. Nevermind.”

To go straight to mitigating the complaint misses the very real problem that this employee has brought to light — indirectly. Sooner or later, he’ll be back, complaining of a new symptom of the very same underlying problem. Likely, he won’t be direct about it next time either. You’ll be playing whack-a-mole.

You can avoid a law suit that way, but you won’t improve morale, improve teamwork, improve communication, retain valuable employees, or begin to flush out toxic ones and set the stage to let them go.

Following the counsel of the HR pros who advise going straight to addressing the complaint itself, you put out a fire, but you leave the embers smoldering.

There is clearly a genuine and impactful problem here that will affect the employee’s contribution to the company.  And it is not the bottle-swap complaint he came forward with. If the problem underlying the complaint is ignored, the cost to the company will be great.  Not only will his performance suffer, but because of the contagiousness of discontent, everyone’s performance will suffer.

 

Bonus Perspective

There’s one more matter to look at with respect to this complaint—dividing labor according to ability, facility, and brilliance.  Organizations that give tasks to the people best suited to completing them efficiently and well, while developing everyone’s skills and talents to increase capabilities and capacity, far outpace organizations where it is demanded that equal work means identical work.

In an office where I was the man who changed the water jug, the five women I worked with could have done it (indeed did when I was on vacation). In this case, I was the strongest, and my coworkers preferred to have me do it. I could do it in less than half the time with significantly less risk of damage to the equipment and less risk of injury. And of course, I didn’t mind.  Here again is that principle, Be Obvious.  When it comes to a brief but strenuous task, the person for whom it will be briefest and least strenuous is the obvious choice, regardless of gender.

Adeptability training, and the employment of Adeptability principles allows HR pros and managers to address the surface issues that arise by delving into the real problems underneath.  And, by extension, they can elevate the work efforts and work products of their people, not by putting bandages on deep wounds, but by fostering health.

 

 

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Imagine your team operating with high-level EQ. Trouble is, reading an article doesn’t often change behavior. That’s why we created Adeptability Training for your team for a communication and collaboration culture as a matter of habit and mindset. Want an Adeptable team?

Book a call today.


Play Your Way to Innovation

Encourage and stimulate creativity and innovation. Get the edge on your competition. Keep up your interest and passion for work. Retain employees who love their work. Excite your clients, increase referral business, and create a buzz.

This will be an article about cultivating a culture of creativity and innovation in business (and elsewhere). But first, a context.

Many of our clients come to us because their companies have become stagnant, and they’re wanting to shake things up. One client, the Artistic Director of a small theater company, said, “We’re doing ok, but we need to be doing better than that. We’re basically doing the same things we’ve been doing, but we need to be doing the things we haven’t been doing. I just don’t know what those things are yet.”

If they’re honest, we’ve found that a lot of business leaders – in the arts and beyond – can relate to this conundrum. Businesses find a model for success. They execute that model. They achieve success in whatever way they’ve defined it for themselves. And then that model becomes a security blanket or a life raft. They know they need to make a change, but they cannot see around the status quo to the solution.

Whether the broken or ailing status quo is a model for product production, for providing customer service, for marketing or for something else, the life raft often starts taking on water as soon as it has done its initial job. In other words, the initial idea works great for a while, but then the market shifts and the company’s relevance and/or its vibrancy begins to wane. Competitors may make a better mousetrap and crowd us out of the market, or our own company and its leadership may begin to get bored with doing today what we were doing yesterday. How many times have we all heard the common refrain, “Same s#*t, different day?”

Stagnancy in any business leads to:

  • Failure to capture a bigger market share
  • Loss of market share
  • Loss of productivity
  • Client retention problems
  • Talent/staff retention problems

And now, to pull this article out of a power dive, I arrive at the destination promised: Creativity and Innovation. No matter the initial reason business leaders come to me, many soon ask for help with freeing up creativity and innovation.

Creativity and innovation lead to:

  • Excitement in the company and the marketplace
  • Increased market share
  • Growth of the market through viral sharing that brings new people to your sector/category
  • Increased motivation and productivity
  • Client referrals
  • Personal fulfillment and satisfaction within the company
  • Talent/Staff retention and ease of recruitment

And the burning question in all your minds… How do we get some of that? How can we be more creative as entrepreneurs? And how can we get more creativity and innovation out of those who work with us?

Before I tell you, answer me this – Do you punish failure? If your employees take risks to try something new in good faith, and their risks result in failure, are they encouraged to keep trying new things, or are they ridiculed, chastised or sanctioned? Or, do you instead, if your team takes measured and calculated risks that don’t pay off, thank them for taking the risks, engage them in learning the lessons that failure inevitably offers, and reward them for their efforts by extending your trust again in the form of responsibility? The latter will bring you great results – failures, yes, but also great successes. They key is to fail in these initiatives quickly, learn and regroup quickly, and try something new. Nothing quells creativity and innovation like the fear of failure. It is rumored that a reporter asked Thomas Edison how it felt to fail thousands of times on his way to inventing the light bulb. His famous response, “I never failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

Perhaps it is no surprise that fear of failure dampens creativity. But this will surprise you. Incentives for creativity and innovation also dampen creativity. When offered rewards for innovation, adults, and even the greatest innovators in the world (children) suffer a marked decrease in “out of the box” thinking. Attention goes to the reward instead of to the creative process.

The engine of the creative process is play. Google, perhaps the most innovative company in operation (notice how many applications they have in beta testing) has learned this lesson well. Its employees are asked to attend to their regularly scheduled tasks for 80% of their work time. The other 20% of their time (called 20% time) is given to employee pet projects. When someone believes that they’ve got something worth taking to the market, they share it – without fear of negative repercussions if it should flop. More companies would do well to emulate Google in this.

And what of the solo entrepreneur? The same goes for you. Give yourself permission to take risks and fail. You already know that you’re resilient in the face of failure, or you’d have given up entrepreneurship long ago. Set aside time every week for exploring strange new ideas.

What Google calls “twenty percent time,” I call “Star Trek Time” – time in which your mission is to boldly go where no one has gone before.

I could go on about creativity and innovation for page after page, but I will leave you with one suggestion for priming the creative pump.

Brainstorming is a concept with which you’re all surely familiar. The team identifies a problem and throws ideas for possible solutions onto a board without regard to the viability or quality of the idea. Everything that comes into the mind goes onto the board.

Stanford School of Business professor, Jennifer Aaker, suggests turning the brainstorming session on its ear. Brainstorm and record ideas as usual. Then double the number of ideas by listing also the inverse of each idea the team came up with. For example, if one idea on the board is to, “appeal to a broader market by lowering prices,” then add to the list of ideas to, “pursue a narrower market with increased prices.” If an idea is to, “make a sweeter beverage in a larger size,” include also the idea to, “produce a smaller, less-sweet beverage.”

The results, according to Aaker (and my experience bares this out), is better than simply having twice the number of ideas. In the standard model of brainstorming, the ideas created fall on a bell-shaped curve of quality – a few terrible ideas, a few excellent ideas, and mostly mediocre ideas. When the inverse of those ideas is taken, the resulting ideas fall on a kind of inverse bell curve – many more terrible ideas, a few mediocre ideas, and surprisingly many excellent and exceptional ideas.

Start to breed a culture of creativity and innovation in your business today. Identify some problems specifically that you’d like to overcome, and dive in to the potential of play, freedom, fun and opportunity to solve those problems in ways you cannot now predict.

Want to supersize the potential for creativity and the unexpected? Think about bringing the improv team of The Yes Works to your company.


You Can Keep Your Damn Sugar

Fear Can Muck Up Your Relationships

One of my dad’s favorite jokes (at least I think it was one of his favorites.  He certainly tells it often) goes like this:

Bob decides to do some baking and discovers that he doesn’t have any sugar.  “No problem,” Bob thinks, “I’ll just borrow some from Harry.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind lending me a cup of sugar.” And he sets out to walk next door to Harry’s place.

On his way, Bob thinks to himself, “I’m sure Harry won’t mind.  He’ll give me some sugar. Why wouldn’t he?  We’re neighbors after all. He will. But what if he doesn’t?  Why not?  I mean, after I lent him my canoe last week. I didn’t even complain that he’d kept the canoe a day longer than he said he would.  He’s got to lend me the sugar! I can’t believe Harry would even consider saying no.  I thought we had a better relationship than that.  I mean really.  Some friend.”

Bob knocks on Harry’s front door.  While he’s waiting, he thinks, “Imagine, saying no to a simple cup of sugar.  What a jerk.  To think I’ve called him friend.”

Harry opens his front door to find Bob standing stiffly on his porch, and Bob shouts: “YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DAMN SUGAR!”

Happens in Business Relationships Everyday

This is an extreme example of a kind of “dialogue” many of us have every day.  I put dialogue in quotes because clearly this is something a bit closer to a monologue, but it includes Bob’s imagining of Harry’s response.  He doesn’t even need Harry to bring the “conversation” through to completion.

I find this joke funny because I recognize myself in Bob.  I have:

  • decided not to ask for business because was sure the answer would be no.
  • decided not to ask for a raise because I thought my boss would get mad.
  • chosen not to ask for a promotion…
  • determined someone else was a moron because I couldn’t understand their rationale.
  • not pointed out an error because I was sure the others had seen it and decided it wasn’t important.

And I also find it funny because I’ve been in Harry’s shoes, stunned and bemused by someone’s response to me – seemingly coming from left field. And I’ve been frustrated be people who’ve let opportunities pass by because thy thought they knew what I’d want.

Point In Case

The other day, one of my clients was telling me about trouble he’d been having with some of the coaching I’d given him the week before.  He told me he’d loved the tool I’d given him, but after using it for a few days, he became unsure of how to use it in certain circumstances.  And so for the rest of the week, he did without it, and the benefits it had brought him fell away. “Why didn’t you call me to talk with me about how to apply it?” I asked.

He told me, “I didn’t want to bother you.  We weren’t scheduled to talk for almost a week, and I knew you were busy.”

“It’s true,” I told him.  “I was busy, but I would have taken a few minutes with you.  Our relationship is bigger than schedules and appointments.”

It’s not just that this client was trying to spare me the nuisance of having to talk with him (not something I would have considered a nuisance).  In order to arrive at that thought, my client had a version of Bob’s conversation in his own head. The thing about these conversations we have is that they are based in fear.  Sometimes, we talk ourselves out of the chance to have what we want in a relationship with someone else.  Sometimes we talk ourselves into grabbing what we want.  Bob might just as well have shouted, “Jerk,” shoved Harry out of the way, rushed into the kitchen and thrown open the cupboard.  “I lent you my canoe, so the least you can do is let me have this sugar!”

The Cost

These unilateral conversations lead to workplace theft. “I deserve it.” They lead to lost sales. “She wasn’t going to buy anyway.” They lead to interpersonal strife. “Why bother trying to work it out with that jerk?”

The cost of having these conversations solo is that we can never gain what we’re really after – acceptance and appreciation in relationships we value.  We want to see ourselves through others’ eyes and find we matter. We’ll easily sacrifice performance if it means we can avoid having our fears confirmed.

In Concrete

When I was a realtor, I had trouble – as so many in business do – in asking for referrals.  I knew, from my clients’ heartfelt thanks, that they’d gotten good value in our relationship and felt well served.  Still, in my fear, the conversation in my head went like this: “If you feel you’ve gotten good service from me, and you know anyone else who is planning to buy or sell a home and who would appreciate having the kind of customer service I’ve given you, would you ask them if it’s alright if I gave them a call?” Then they’d say, “Wow!  Your service was great, until now.  Now you’re just another pushy salesman,” in my head.

Then I’d laugh, and I’d really ask for the referral, and often they’d give me one.  Sometimes they wouldn’t have a referral to give.  Never did they seem to be put out.

What to Do

After you laugh at yourself for the “conversation” in your head, have the conversation in the real world with the other person.

If you don’t have the conversation, and instead, have only the “conversation,” then you’re cheating yourself.  Worst case scenario if you ask – you don’t get.  If you don’t ask, you surely don’t get, or you get by grabbing, and you feel lousy.  If you ask and you don’t get, then heck, at least you gave it a shot.

And we do this everywhere in life.  Don’t ask for the date, don’t get the date.  Don’t ask your husband for that backrub, don’t get the backrub. In order to be received, we’ve got to put it out there.  Our radios only serve to give us music, news, and entertainment because there are towers out there broadcasting.

One of my favorite shows as a kid was 3-2-1 Contact.  “Contact is secret; is the moment when everything happens! Contact is the answer; is the reason that everything happens!  Contact! Let’s make contact!”

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Speaking of contact… Communication and collaboration are some of the hardest things to get right in any company culture, and the difficulty increases exponentially as you add more people to the team. Adeptability Training gets teams communicating and collaborating effectively as a matter of habit and mindset. Book a call today.