Honorée’s Optimistic Observations: Get Your Act Together!

I’m really interested in people and what makes them tick. I’m definitely a student of human behavior; I love observing people and have always fancied myself a “people watcher.” Today, I’d like to offer my optimistic observations about what works and what doesn’t, so we can all be better.

As a coach, I get to sit in the really awesome position of helping people identify what is effective and ineffective in their lives, define what they want and help them get it! If I have a “job hazard” it is this: I see people engaging in activities that tarnish or even destroy their personal and professional brands, and they aren’t aware of it at all. These same people, I believe, have a good heart and no malicious intent. But the results are the same, nonetheless. People avoid them and doing business with them like the plague. By being too aggressive, condescending, inappropriate, whining about business and/or life, or having a temper tantrum when things don’t go their way, they ruin their chances of getting what they really want: great relationships and more business.

I’m not saying I’m perfect and don’t engage in any of these ineffective behaviors. I am saying I have a good eye for what does and doesn’t work. Here are some of my recent observations and tips for getting your act together, which will without question, enhance how you feel about yourself, and how others feel about you:

1. Define a response time and stick to it. I’m always confused when I email or call someone and I don’t hear back. Ever. {Or for weeks or months.} It tells me that the person is a either {a} disorganized hot mess {best case scenario} or {b} just downright rude {not good either}. If you have an inbox full of unanswered email, you must get a system in place and identify a response time you communicate. The same with phone calls: don’t leave messages unanswered, even if you don’t want the product or service being offered to you, or to have the meeting that was proposed. No is a complete sentence, and perfectly okay to say. I’d take a no over false interest or having to follow-up with someone indefinitely until I finally have to give up.

2. Be relational, not transactional. I’ve met some incredible people in the last few years, and some of them stand out in a fantastic way. They are warm and friendly and make everyone they meet feel special. Whether I hire them or not, I know they genuinely care about me which is such a great feeling. It also inspires me to want to do business with them the first minute I can.

On the other hand, I’ve met some folks who have dropped me a like a hot potato when they didn’t close my business fast enough to suit their fancy. Guess what? Now that I know that’s how they roll, I’m going to forever roll in a different direction. Look, some people have a longer “convincer strategy” which means they need more time to get to know you before they pull the trigger. Be patient. Be caring. Be awesome. It’ll be worth it. I’ve written a book all about this and you can read a sample here.

3. People like assertive, not aggressive. I really dig a confident person who is comfortable in their own skin, easily shares their expertise and is genuinely nice. That is really attractive, don’t you agree? It goes without saying {actually, I guess it doesn’t}, that you can “own your greatness,” ask for the business you want, and get it. Just like that, too. Conversely, if you’re too aggressive and pushy, that isn’t attractive at all and this is what will happen:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.05.51 AM

But not with penguins … with actual people. {In case you weren’t connecting the dots. :)}

If you want business from people you’re not getting business from, there’s a reason and this might be it. The only way to truly know is to ask, and be ready for honest feedback.

4. Talk “to” not “about.” Speaking of feedback … if you have a problem with someone, talk to them, instead of about them. Here’s what works better: “I have some feedback for you, if you’d like it.” Or, “When you did/said X, I perceived it as Y. Is that what you meant?” Speculating only leads to false conclusions. If you’re not sure why someone is doing something, ask them. If you think someone is intentionally doing something to make your head explode, ask them if that’s the case. When you talk to others instead of directly to the person you have an issue with, you increase the negative feelings you have {which might be baseless, by the way}, rather than clearing the air. Sometimes one 5 minute phone call can give you a new perspective and a clean slate.

5. Be “on” … “like a Wendy Elder.” Someone I really admire for her consistently positive attitude and upbeat personality is Wendy Elder. She’s a super busy real estate agent, business owner, wife, and mom. She never has a bad day and if she does, the world-at-large doesn’t know about it. She carries herself with grace and poise, always has a smile, pays attention, and is good for an encouraging word. I was hanging with a girlfriend of mine over the weekend, and she said, “This person I met is on, like a Wendy Elder.” No, we weren’t violating #4, these words were said with complete and total admiration, and I (1) knew instantly what she was talking about and (2) wanted to meet this person right away! Don’t you want to be the person who is known for their awesomeness? I know I do.

Being perceived as an “on it” professional isn’t about perfection. It is about doing the best you can and continuing to grow into the person you’ve always known you can be. Have a productive and prosperous week!

 

Cool things to ensure your success…

Listen: Boost your networking while listening to this book for FREE. Grab Business Dating on Audible.

Learn: Move beyond the time for money hustle and leverage your one-on-one results with an online course.

Read: The Power of Giving: Why Philanthropy is Important in Business (Huffington Post)

Hack: How to Stay Motivated Even Though You Can’t See Yourself Moving Forward (LifeHack)


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  • I have to admit I’m guilty about having an eternally clogged inbox. I need to get a system in place, but with two kids at home and trying to churn out one book after another, I admit that I don’t make the time I need to succeed at communicating via email very well. But I’m recovering! Just like I’m a recovering perfectionist. Progress, not perfection – right?

    • Honoree Corder

      Yes! Progress, not perfection. Every day we get a little better. 🙂