By Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC
To get where you are today, you have probably done quite a few things right. You have most likely focused a considerable amount of attention on the basic “doing” side of filling your practice; finding your niche, creating the plan, making the calls, giving the presentations, etc. However, how much attention have you directed to the “being” side of this process? Specifically, what consideration have you given to the way that you conduct yourself and interact with clients and prospects alike? This is an important but often overlooked aspect of running a successful practice that deserves greater attention.
And just to be clear, this is not about learning some quick-fix technique to better bamboozle someone. Rather it is about the fundamental process of developing the underlying character, beliefs, perspectives and habits that most honor and create the most value for your clients. (Here we are safe in the assumption that if you create more value for your clients, you will be rewarded.)
So here are some tenets that may warrant consideration, if you want to get your client and prospect relations to the next level:
Be your authentic self. – When you attempt to be something or somebody you are not, you will come across as a phony, regardless of how well you think you are hiding it. (In these days of mass media, where we are all exposed to hundreds of pitches each day, we have all become very astute at detecting the insincere.) Being genuine, working with your own unique strengths, and developing your own natural style, will allow you to connect far greater with people.
Be outwardly focused, look to create value.– If you conduct your business with a “what’s in it for me” attitude, you will have a hard time hiding that from others. People will pick up that it is all about you. However, if you base your career on a desire to genuinely create value for all those you meet, or are in relationship with, your success will follow.
Listen intently – This really honors people. It is one of the most effective ways of conveying the message, “I value you and am really interested in what you have to say.” To the extent that people feel understood, accepted and valued, they will view you as worthy of their trust. Listening well takes intention and patience. It is a skill worthy of study and practice.
Notice your judgments. – It is very natural to have judgments. Just be aware of yours, and don’t let them affect your behavior unless doing so serves you or your client. Seek to find the gift and learning in people’s differences.
Be unattached. – It is healthy and productive to have clear goals and intentions for your career. It is natural to have hopes and expectations surrounding the behavior of your clients. However it does not serve you to have a strong emotional attachment to a specific behavior or outcome. Nature delights in foiling the best-laid plans.
Be positive. – Look for the possibility of good in all people and events, and cultivate and share your natural enthusiasm. It is infectious.
Much of the impact of practicing these virtues stem from the fact that the majority of our communication lies beyond the actual words we speak. The above-mentioned qualities, if practiced, will allow you to better connect with your prospects, and clients, and inspire them to build mutually beneficial relationships with you.
Finally, all these “being” habits are best cultivated, and naturally spring from, a healthy, balanced lifestyle, that allows you to enter each day centered in the principles that you choose to live your life by. Finding that lifestyle is the surest guarantee of your success.
Steve Mitten CPCC, MCC, 2005 ICF President, works with leaders, executives and independents wanting to create extraordinary meaningful and successful lives. Steve is devoted to raising standards in the young profession of coaching and through his coaching programs and book, Marketing Essentials For Coaches, has helped hundreds of coaches find an affordable and authentic path to commercial success.
Article is free to be reprinted as long as author’s bio remains intact.
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