Friday, March 12, 2010

Speak For Yourself

A common habit in our business culture is the habit of what I call, universal speaking. This is the bad habit of including everyone in our conversations as if they are the same as us.

For example, "When you get up in the morning you need that first coffee...

When you meet a new client, you have to establish rapport ...

When you hear more than seven no's, you get discouraged..."

Harmless? I think not.

This habit actually serves to distances ourselves from our commitments and others. By including everyone in the universal "you," we imply that everyone has the same experience as we do. We also cut ourselves off from others by closing the door to the possibility that other's do not have our experience with life or shares our values and viewpoints.

You don't speak for me and I don't speak for you. Speak for yourself and invite others to do so. This is particularly important in a sales encounter where we are attempting to connect with prospective clients and do business with them.

If your doubt this contention, go to a movie and listen for reactions to it. Different people experience the movie differently. Yet they sat in the same theatre watching the same movie.

Ask yourself, "What's it like to be the other person? What do things look like from their viewpoint?

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