One of my favorite opening questions I ask when speaking to groups of industry professionals:
Q: What makes doing business in today’s world so fascinating?
After several seconds of the audience twisting and turning in their chairs doing their best to be invisible, finally a brave soul will say…“It’s People!”
Excellent…indeed, that’s the number one answer!
Fact – the beauty of people is that no two are exactly the same. Case in point. although identical twins are genetically similar, as twins grow and mature, regional and personal experiences make subtle changes to their likes and dislikes. If people are so fascinating and we are all so unique, you would think there would be no such thing as a “people routine”.
Let’s start with Life - especially our personal worlds. We allow ourselves to become susceptible to what I call habiting-up. Some symptoms would be: If your alarm clock has gone off at the same time for years and you can’t remember how to change the time…you’re habiting-up. If you have bought the exact same shoes more than twice you should be concerned! And the real undeniable symptom - if your daily interaction with customers or even potential friends uses the same procedural checklist over and over, that’s your undeniable comfort zone where uniqueness is missing!
You’re leaving friendships, relationships, potential revenues, real life-changers on the table!
Please take a moment and think about your last ten customer/guest/friend interactions! You’ll have to agree, it’s a hodgepodge of experience levels and expectations. Now throw individual and different personality’s traits on top of this human pile of emotions…It gets rather crazy rather quickly.
Solution: Give yourself the emotional intelligence skills needed to level this ever changing world we live in.
Here’s a few to get you started that help prevent habiting-up:
- Connect to the heart. It’s amazing what an introduction and handshake will do to develop a relationship.
- Show that you care by being approachable, long before you say anything – people will make up their mind about your level of professionalism before you utter a word.
- Look and listen for the clues or adjustments you can make with your body language, tone or pace; you just might turn a standard relationship to one of lasting loyalty.
People are great! Yes, occasionally you will meet one that will test your professionalism – these chosen few, if handled correctly often become your biggest fans.