I’ve said it in one form or another in writing various blogs, but one of the top frustrations I see with clients is that they consume themselves with results, particularly in sales, and it’s because they’ve forgotten the cardinal rule:
It’s not about you.
In fact, it’s never about you, whether you’re looking to be a hot shot sales person, teach students, fix cars, or lead a congregation.
Here’s a Top 8 list of previous blog posts I’ve written over the years. Different topics, but at their foundation is a focus not on self, but on others. While I encourage personal development always as a first step, and that does take a look inward, ultimately its goal is to improve yourself to be a better person TO others and FOR others. Even the greatest leaders have mastered the art of servanthood, which places their focus on others.
Shut up and Listen: Good listening skills are great communication skills, because people know when they are being heard, when the attention is on them, and the interest is authentic.
Consultative Selling: When you are working with someone that you want to develop a partnership with, are you pushing them to buy, or are you teaching them something valuable? No one likes feeling “sold to,” but if you have relevant and interesting information to share with them that will help them, you are more of a consultant than a stereotypical salesman.
Interpersonal Communication - This is an old concept that hasn’t changed over time. If you can’t communicate effectively with others, you simply won’t find success in anything. Learn to cultivate this skill, and that’s when the magic happens.
Customer Service - Are you really serving your customer? Or are you simply filling requests, fixing problems without concern for what the customer has experienced? People will partner with you and remain loyal if they know that even when things didn’t go as planned, you’ve got their back.
Empathy - You truly engage with people when you can be empathetic to their concerns and needs. However, few people know what it means or how to be better at it.
Product Knowledge - Like consultative selling, this is a highly teachable skill, and makes you a go-to resource for any prospect.
Asking Questions - When you ask the right questions, it shows the other person that you’re interested in them, and have heard their concerns. It keeps the conversation going, and gives you a better picture of where you can fit in their strategy.
Self Awareness - What you think about yourself is one thing, but how others see you is quite another. If you aren’t aware of how your words and actions are impacting others, you’re heading for disaster.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) - What is this, and why is it more important that your “hard skills?” Really EQ is everything we’ve been talking about, and is what personal development is ALL about. EQ can’t be taught, but it can be coached, because ultimately it’s your inside game that will translate into greater results and success.
Please take the time to read these blog posts. They’re designed to give you something to think about, and actions to take to take you from one point to another. And because it’s not all about you, it’s important for you to enlist someone to help you get there, whether it’s an accountability partner at work, a mentor, or a coach. These outside resources can also help you see yourself from another’s perspective (self awareness), and guide you to behaviors that will be more constructive for any relationship you’re looking to develop.