In this week’s blog entry, we cast a wide net and cover what we believe is a critical topic in business and in life. It’s about delivering an extraordinary experience to those you serve. It’s about communication. It goes far beyond my industry of real estate and reaches into any and all areas of business.
Technology has made life wonderfully efficient and added so many levels of speed and comfort to our lives. As I travel today, I’m reminded how we have all benefited from technology in travel (remember, I’m the one who wondered why it took so long for someone to put wheels on suitcases), business and communication…
Wait…I’m not sure about the communication part. Let me take that back…What technology has done is ill-equip us to listen and wholeheartedly discern what is best. Too often, technology has created poor, bad habits that cloud and mask the best way to serve those in our path.
In my opinion, inefficient and ineffective communication is fueled by the fact that we all have the choice to speak face-to-face and really engage in a conversation or take the shortcut and text, email, or tweet our message. SO much is lost in not looking into the eyes of the individual you are serving and truly listening to and identifying their needs. SO much is lost in using a keyboard to convey a message and cheating your ability to interject tonality, understanding, empathy and compassion into your conversation.
What if? What if instead of going the extra mile, we simply take a few extra steps?
Be fully present
When in communication. Be present. Show respect. Don’t multi-task and do many things as once. Stop, focus and commit to the conversation you are in.
Seek every opportunity to be face-to-face and share thoughts.
Face-to-face does not mean in the same room. If and when your schedule and technology allow, sit face-to-face (Facetime, Zoom, Skype, Google Groups) and “show” the attention and respect that is becoming a lost art. Make the one you are speaking with the most important person in the conversation. Look into their eyes. Hear with more than just your ears.
Ask engaging and insightful questions to build relationships stronger.
The old saying that “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. You should strive to be the most caring.
Listen for the sake of hearing and not for the purpose of responding.
As a matter of fact, be slow to respond and even slower to react. The act of aggressive listening opens unbelievable opportunities to serve.
Mother Teresa stated, “There is a greater need for love in this world than food.” Love is gratitude. You lose nothing when you pause and say, “Thank you.” You lose nothing when you take time to care and show appreciation.
No screens. When you do experience the luxury of being face-to-face, commit to put all devices down. If an opportunity is important enough to schedule, it’s too important to lose to the competition of a screen. Period. No further discussion needed.
Many years ago, I had the pleasure of reading the book “The Aladdin Factor” (by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield). It changed my life. Literally, I have lived this book since reading it. The content of the book features communication at an extremely high level. Having the courage to ask for what you want and the respect of showing gratitude when you receive it.
The book empowers you to go the extra mile.
Onward! Be a resource not a sales pitch.