On the Receiving End of You

Want to improve your sales? Your customer service? Your relationships in general?

Take a minute to think about something: What is it like to be on the receiving end of you?

Have you thought through your approach to sales conversations or are you just throwing out as many benefits that you offer as fast as you can hoping something you say sounds attractive to the person you’re saying it to?

What about when something goes wrong with a client? Are you able to really listen to a complaint and then respond accordingly or are you so uncomfortable with anything that even feels like confrontation that you avoid the conversation and hope it goes away. (By the way, yes, that customer will most likely go away -permanently.)

Are you so tied to being right and knowing everything that nobody on your team will make a suggestion because they just can’t take another 10 minute lecture about how you’re right and they’re wrong and you already know everything anyway.

If you want to have better relationships in your life, it’s actually pretty easy. Take responsibility for them by making sure being on the receiving end of you is a positive experience.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Being self-aware is a powerful tool. Pay attention to the types of situations that make you emotional or nervous and how it is you respond to those situations – and then how the people you’re communicating with at the time respond to you. Are they suddenly avoiding eye contact? Have they stopped asking questions? If your behavior shuts other people down it’s time to do some work on yourself.
  • Not sure what you’re doing right or wrong? Find a way to record yourself. Yes, it’s a terrifying exercise and it takes a while to get used to, but most of us are surprised by the words that come out of our own mouths when we listen to them later.
  • Ready to be brave? Find someone who will give you honest feedback and ask them what it’s actually like to be on the receiving end of you. Give them some specific scenarios to analyze and set the stage by telling them you’re working on improving your communication skills. Don’t just pop out of the blue at them with a wide-open generalized question – their feedback won’t be as useful. Sincerity (as usual) is where this will get screwed up. Fishing for compliments under the guise of self-improvement is not what we are going for here.
  • Hire a professional. Whether you want to focus on a particular type of communications such as sales, or you are ready to get down and do the dirty work that will lead to overall improvements in your business or your life, there are experts out there who are waiting to help.

When I was first introduced to the concept of taking responsibility for all the relationships in my life, I have to say it took some getting used to. I was stuck for quite a while on whether or not the other people were also taking responsibility for their parts of whatever issue we were having. As I’ve grown to fully incorporate personal responsibility as one of my primary core values, what I’ve learned is it’s actually quite empowering.

Improving your communication skills is a great way to step into the power of personal responsibility.

Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping people to “Conquer the Conversation,” and create improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business, visit www.ErinMarcus.com, email Hello@ErinMarcus.com or call 847-868-4464.