In an effort to process every service he provides for his clients, Anthony sends out a questionnaire as an automated part of his sales routine. Last week, he arrived at his coaching call dumbfounded. Although the feedback he’s obtained has been invaluable to his growth, one of his clients had taken offense at his request for data – data that isn’t otherwise available.
Additionally, Anthony stands out in the crowd as none of his competitors takes time to solicit such data. It is his way of showing his clients that he cares so much about doing a superb job for them.
One of Anthony’s valued clients was recently insulted in receiving the questionnaire stating: “I’m not going to justify it with a response! There was nothing you could have done better. You should know that. Your questionnaire is a sign of insecurity.”
Anthony shock was this: “If I seek to enhance my skill sets each day, and have developed tools to aid in this process, how can a client who’ll benefit from my continual improvement possibly be irritated by this?”
You, my amazing readers, have already answered this question in your own mind:
If Anthony’s client had taken a deep breath and not jumped to a conclusion, he’d have seen that he got upset due to his own short-sighted ‘assumption’ and not over Anthony’s ‘intention’ was.
Anthony’s client showed his own insecurities wrapped up in his refusal to cooperate. It wasn’t about Anthony. Can you imagine what string of assumptions might have lead this client to his conclusions?
We all have to admit that we’ve made assumptions. In our haste, we think we know the meaning behind other’s words and actions, but unless we take the time to get curious, we simply miss the bigger picture. Before we know it, we’ve entered into a downward spiral that damages relationships. Unless someone points this out to us, we will continue to strengthen the pattern.
Anthony’s client exhibited a dangerous blend of ‘assumption’ and ‘impatience.’ Had he taken the time to consider who Anthony was and what he was really trying to accomplish, he might have been willing to cooperate more graciously because he could see the ‘good’ in what Anthony had established with his questionnaire.
This little story will stand as a reminder for you to notice your own assumptions this week. Do your assumptions keep you from seeing the whole picture? (Notice that you begin to sense irritation immediately.) Slow down and ask yourself: “What is it about this scenario that irritates me and is it more about me or the other person?” And then ask yourself: Can I see anything at all that is good in his request?”
Enjoy your discoveries and have a great week!