Dependability, Quality, Responsiveness, Listening, Understanding, Competence, Exceptionality…

Being Dependable – the quality of being able to be relied on. Do what you say you will do and do it well. How can my actions, and our teams’ actions, better indicate dependability for our clients and prospects?

Quality – the characteristic with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence. Of or having superior quality. Producing services of high quality or merit. How can my actions, and our teams’ actions, illustrate our attention to quality?

Being Responsive – taking action, especially readily and sympathetically to requests. In our client and prospective clients’ minds, are we being responsive? Have we set, and do we adhere to individual and organizational agreements on what it means to be responsive?

Listening – attend closely for the purpose of hearing. To pay attention. What does it mean to be a person and develop a team who listens well?

Understanding – to perceive what is meant, grasp the information conveyed, comprehend. Often, we think we understand, but we are misperceiving. What can we do to better understand, to find clarity, in what’s being conveyed to us?

Being Competent – having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience. Property qualified. Adequate but not exceptional.

Being Exceptional – unusually excellent; superior. How can we move from having competence to being exceptional, as individuals and as teams, for our organizations, our clients and prospective clients and broader communities?

Demonstrating Capability = Build Trust…

Trust is critical in selling professional services. All of us can improve our trustworthiness. We know we are trustworthy, but it’s rare for our prospects to trust us. Prospects are skeptical – they’ve been burned in the past, over-promised and under-delivered to time and time again. How do we help them trust us? Initially, to help build trust, we must demonstrate our capability. We can do this:

  • Be an expert. We have to know our stuff and their stuff. We have to understand our prospects business and what issues they are trying to solve for. Listen first, then respond by illustrating how our firm has the expertise to solve their problems.
  • Know our impact. If we want to excel at winning new clients, we have to know and demonstrate our impact. It’s similar to creating a return on investment – If you do this with our firm, this is the outcome. Or, with us, you achieve A, B, C. We have to be prepared to discuss what our prospects can expect to achieve. We also have to be honest with them about timelines, our true capabilities, etc. Many prospects are unrealistic in expectations – we build trust when we tell them their goals are unachievable in the time frame or budget allotted. If we can fully explain how our firm can positively impact the prospect, they will begin to trust us.
  • Build a shared vision. When a prospect shares where he is now, and where he is trying to go, it is our opportunity to create a path forward with solutions to his problems. We are beginning to build a shared vision of working together to solve problems for the prospective client.

Demonstrating capability is one first step in creating trust.

Reflecting Clearly…

We’ve all seen our reflections in a mirror that distorts our image. Our body is super long or wide or much shorter than we actually are. We don’t want to be like a mirror that distorts reality. We want to be able to reflect reality like the still water on a mountain lake. We often don’t reflect things clearly, and we suffer because of our wrong perceptions. When we see things or listen to others, we often don’t see clearly or really listen. We see and hear through our own kaleidoscope of preconceived opinions and project those, distorting reality even further.

We need to make our internal water still if we want to receive reality as it is and be able to reflect clearly. If we are agitated or anxious or our minds are racing to get things done, we should work to become still again. Let the feeling that will distort reality pass. Breathe in and out until we are calm again and then we can reengage in the conversation and actually see clearly and really listen. Stillness of mind is the foundation of understanding and insight. Stillness of mind is strength.

Inspired by reading Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hahn

Let Go Of Negative Projections…

When we hold negative or inadequate images of people, it will negatively affect how we relate to them. In relationship, we don’t actually relate to another person. We are only ever relating to our internalized projections of others. I don’t say “hi” to you, I say “hi” to the person I think you are. Who I think you are impacts how I treat you and the kind of relationship we have. This is true of all relationships.

How Intentional Energy Impacts Others…

Inspired by reading: The Power of Intention, by Dr. Wayne Dyer

If our expectations for ourselves and our business center on being normal and status-quo, we attract more normal and ordinary. Our impact on others will also revolve around ordinary. Blah….boring! When we figure out what we really want for our life and business, and we focus our attention and actions keenly there, we’ll see a major difference in how other people react to us and how we can impact others. Our whole world opens and becomes magically alive.

When we operate with intentional energy:

  1. We impact others by instilling a state of calmness. People feel more at peace, less threatened, and more at ease – great gift to give others during these trying times. Think about it: when you are around people who are judgmental or hostile or depressed – it literally sucks. We empower people when we are energetically intentional – we help them feel safe rather than attacked, secure rather than judged, calm rather than harassed.
  2. We leave people feeling energized. Think about when you’ve attended an empowering key note speech or listened to a Ted Talk – we positively energize others by staying focused, present, and positive for our colleagues and teams.
  3. We help people feel better about themselves. I intend to be that kind of person. Compassionate energy has a noticeable pleasant impact on others. As we develop our connection to our intention, people sense that we care about them, understand them, and are interested in them as unique individuals. With this kind of connection to intention, we are less likely to focus conversations on ourselves and use others to massage our ego.
  4. Our presence instills a sense of purpose. When we operate from intentional energy, we bring something to others that’s inexplicable. Our presence and behavior of love, acceptance, nonjudgement, and kindness becomes a catalyst for others to live their own lives on purpose.

The higher our energy field resonates, the more we can impact others in a healing, positive way. We can only access this if we are intentional with our energy, purpose, words, actions, etc.

Simple Kindness…

Inspired by Dr. David Hawkins

Simple kindness to one’s self and to all living creatures is the most powerful transformational force. It produces no backlash, has no downside, and never leads to loss or despair. It increases one’s own true power, which always is in service to others, without exacting any toll. There can be no exceptions or exemptions. We strive for kindness to all. We cannot practice kindness with the hope or expectation for some selfish reward. We are simply kind in each moment, to ourselves and to every single person – and it’s effect is as far reaching as it is subtle.

I promise you will grow and your business will grow if you practice simple kindness! Be kind, go grow : )

How Dalai Lama Defines A Successful Person…

  1. The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.
  2. An open heart is an open mind.
  3. The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation.
  4. The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.
  5. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  6. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  7. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  8. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

The Freedom Of Discipline…

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffective concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. – Goethe

Are You Ripping Or Weaving The Fabric…

Inspired by reading David Brooks: “The Second Mountain”

If you are ripping the fabric, your business development efforts will not be effective. If you are weaving the fabric, you’ve got a better chance. So what the heck is this fabric? It is the people, organizations, beliefs that knit us together. Within our teams, individual organizations, industries, etc., we are granted the opportunity to be weavers instead of rippers. The fabric is not woven by leaders from above. It is woven at every level, through a million caring actions, from one person to another. It is woven by people fulfilling their roles as good teammates, colleagues, and partners.

When I treat another person as if he were an object, I’ve ripped the fabric. When I treat other person as an infinite soul, I have woven the fabric. When I lie, abuse, stereotype, or traumatize a person, I have ripped the fabric. When I see someone truly, and make them feel seen, understood, and known, I have woven the fabric. When I accuse someone of something without evidence, I have ripped the fabric. When I disagree without maligning motives, I have woven it. The fabric is created through an infinity of small moral acts, and it can be destroyed by a series of immoral ones.

Relationships do not scale. They have to be built one at a time, through patience and forbearance. But norms do scale. When we take the time to create caring relationships, and do so repeatedly in ways that get communicated to others, then norms are established. I ask you: what are you doing in your own personal and professional lives, within your team, within your organization, within your communities, to weave rather than rip our fabric? What are we building, moment by moment, choice by choice – to get to where we want to go: individually, as a team, as an organization, and an industry, and as a society?

90% Of Our Understanding Comes From Our Eyes…

and it’s important to set time to meet in-person to make business and relationship development efforts more effective. You may find you are able to get more accomplished by meeting in person, rather than exchanging emails or instant messages – where, more often than not, the real meaning is lost. There’s a significant chance of miscommunication occurring when relying on e-mail and/or instant message instead of meeting in-person. Consider the following statement: Amy thinks Mike will succeed.  Depending on which word is emphasized, the meaning changes completely:

  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (It’s Amy who thinks this.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (Amy’s not entirely certain.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (It’s Mike, and no one else.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (Mike is not succeeding now, but it will happen.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (As opposed to fail.)

There would be no question about meaning if this was an in-person conversation, because the person’s inflection would clarify.

Beyond the fundamental value of crystal clear communication, meeting with people in-person provides that additional (90%) understanding through seeing another person’s perspective. In seeing, we gain greater understanding. With this greater understanding, we have the opportunity to develop a deeper, more authentic relationship.

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