not by shouting each other down,
but by the unique capacity
of unique, individual human beings
to comprehend each other."
-- Lewis Thomas
Yesterday was a very enjoyable and interesting day. It ended up being 13 hours from 5:30am to 6:30pm, and being involved with a whole team of people in 6 different smaller group meetings where I was to answer any questions they may have that my experience could cover.
I was surprised and pleased with some of my answers and suggestions--surprised because many things I said doesn't normally find its way into this sort of teaching environment, and pleased because of where I have arrived in my life travels.
These wonderful folks were every different part of a so-called technological company offering a software solution to a unique market. In fact, it has revolutionized that market with their product and service, which they are constantly improving as they grow. Some were in direct sales, others behind the scenes never talking directly to a client, others developing software expansion and enhancement, others were inside sales follow-up and more.
Two things I said yesterday to virtually all of the groups that stood out from my perspective were these:
1. Stop thinking and using the word, 'technology.' I'm in the technological business too, but I never use that word. It scares most people, though they may never say so. In understanding your technology, find simple ways to explain things that anyone can absorb and feel good about. In other words, we don't supply this and that and that and this and here's how it works and here's the benefits, but we have some tools that can multiply your own successful efforts, and we do most of it without you lifting a finger. Which one of those would you want?
2. We're all the same and yet we are all different. Let go of the rope. As individual humans, we have this tendency to try to change others and the majority of them resist change. We need to love people right where they are, play with getting to know them and building a meaningful relationship with them, help them when we can, and leave them alone when that is desired. Many questions were such as, "how can we get them to see this? How can we get them to do this? How can we help them to see the value? How can we have them use our product more fully? I totally get all of that. Yet, in most of this, there is a whole bunch of resistance. We get tense, our muscles contract, our breath is shorter, our heart beats faster. We're holding on to the rope. We need to remember to let go when we feel this way. It's okay. Whatever it is, it is. For now. Lighten up.
This doesn't mean to not do your best. It means to put yourself in the other person's shoes. We can all give plenty of advice on what we would do if we were them, and as we consider this, we become frustrated that the client or prospect is not responding as desired, or maybe has even gone radio silent. Praise them in your mind. Lift them up. Love them where they are, and love yourself where you are. You're doing your best. That is enough. Let the rest of it go.
It's good to enjoy what you do when you are spending all day doing it. If not, all kinds of ills are nearby. Back up. Take a new approach. Let go for a while and come back later. Respect people for making their own choices whether we think it serves them or not. We cannot think for them, or feel for them. The best we can do to be of service is to love people where they are while loving ourselves, and enjoying our own travels.
Though these are a couple of things that stood out for me during my day there, I am not yet privy to what if anything stood out for them. That part isn't up to me, is it? Yet I'm confident an equivalent value exchange took place.
Business Is NOT Business. Business IS People.
Spread Some Joy Today--by letting go of the rope every single time you feel the least bit tense. This act automatically releases spurts of joy.