— September 2, 2019
Words are important, with the change of a single word, we often change our mindset, thinking about things differently, acting/behaving very differently.
As sales people, we tend to talk about working with our customers. We use language like:
“Doing something for them….,”
Alternatively, “Doing things to them…..”
As managers, we speak about our people in similar ways, we do something for or to them.
Even though our intent may be to be helpful or to create value this wording focuses us on our own behaviors and actions, often forgetting the customer or sales person we are trying to engage. Stated differently, we think about ourselves and forget the person we are trying to impact.
Simply changing our perspectives opens everything up tremendously, it changes what we do, how we do it, how we think about it, and how we learn and grow.
Rather than doing something for or to someone, what if we started taking the perspective of doing things with them?
This immediately changes our thinking on everything we do. We no longer can think only of ourselves. We have to think about the other person, we have to focus on being aligned and engaged with them.
It changes the dynamic of working with that individual. Rather than being a one way exchange, it immediately becomes two ways, collaborative. We are on the journey together. We are learning from each other, we are understanding each other’s perspectives/goals/ambitions/fears, we are sharing in the discovery process, we grow together.
When we do something “for or to,” we are limited by our own abilities, biases, knowledge. When we do something with, our capability is far greater, it’s the concept behind synergy where 1 + 1 = 3 (or more).
Doing things with our customers and our people is an open, growth oriented mindset. We create the ability to win together.
For the next 30 days, try changing your vocabulary and your behavior. Rather than thinking of what you will do to or for someone, reposition yourself, thinking about how to do it with them. By doing so, you wan’t be alone.