The Benefits of Sharpening Interpersonal
John has spent the past ten years learning the ins
and outs of selling dog food. He has done an excellent job outselling
his competitors. Recently, he has felt his progress level off. His
sales have been flat. In the past ten years, John has also learned to
play the "games," grease the "right" hands with tickets to various
sports events, and say what he thinks will close the deal, not always
what he thinks might really help his clients. These were important
skills to learn as he developed his base of loyal clients, but they
only have taken John to this point. Some of the "bull" that goes along
with the business is beginning to bother John; he is wondering what he
might need to know to jump to the next level of success.
Reflect First, Then Develop a Knack for Giving
John reviewed his list of clients and everything he
thought he knew about them. He realized that he knew only his client's
hobbies and business practices. He knew little about what made them
tick, what motivated them, and what was important to each of them. He
has shared very little about himself. John was trying to figure out
when to trust his instincts and ask or give feedback about personal
issues that are mentioned in the middle of meetings. John noted that at
least half of his clients would be open to giving and gaining genuine
feedback from each other. John realized that instead of going along
with the client's point of view all the time, that the group he
highlighted would like his genuine feedback and creative ideas. This
group of clients was motivated by the relationship he developed with
them as well as what the product offered.
Fine Tuning Your Interpersonal Intelligence
How sharp is your interpersonal intelligence?
__ I pay attention my client's moods and adjust my
presentation to include personal talk time.
__ I am comfortable having some sensitivity to my
client's bad moods.
__ I pay attention to my own mood state before entering
__ I notice when there is discordance between what is
said and the unspoken message.
__ I know when to address the unspoken message rather
than the spoken message.
__ I can momentarily step outside of myself and observe
the mood of the group and each member.
__ I know when to collaborate, share helpful
information, and ease up on competitive tactics.
__ I know when I have stretched the truth.
The next ten years of success will come from developing
wisdom, courage, and creativity. Wisdom comes from looking beneath the
surface of the situation and carefully weighing all the input.
Integrate the facts and figures with impressions from unspoken
communications. Wisdom is cultivated over time with conscious effort by
looking inward then back out and noticing what needs to change about
you. Wisdom comes from seeking understanding rather than obsessing
about being understood. Always pay attention to the discrepancies
between what is said and the nonverbal messages. Look for the
information that is left out. Courage is developed by swinging out and
jumping into relatively unknown territory with sights on a positive
outcome. Approach a person or problem in a new way.
Take this check list and practice developing your
interpersonal skills with family members before trying them with
clients. Success will come from your newly gained wisdom. You will know
when to be "tongue and cheek" and when to use a more genuine and