How to stay calm and allow solutions to find you in good time.
Last week I was running a workshop on communication and negotiation.
One of the key principles that I teach is:
- You can only control what you do: you cannot control what happens afterwards.
(And then, remarkably, if you do this properly, then the results start to improve themselves almost by accident!)
Yet people find this so hard to accept:
We are all so wrapped up in our ‘to do’ lists and out ‘to accomplish’ goals, that we keep pushing and pushing.
And the result all too often is stress and disappointment.
Instead, may I suggest a simple philosophy to keep you calm, keep you on track with controlling what you do.
And, by accident, enjoying much better results!
This philosophy is called: ‘There are more questions than answers’.
The thinking is: as long as we keep open minded, we keep pressing on and we keep asking open questions, then we will almost always get MUCH better outcomes over the long term … but they may come in ways we didn’t expect or anticipate.
(Which is often the biggest problem for people).
This way of thinking stems from the Buddhist principles:
- Sometimes not getting what you want is the greatest stroke of luck.
- When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.
OK: sounds interesting maybe?
But, how, in reality can you do this?
I suggest a simple rule: whenever you have an issue to solve, a decision to make or a negotiation to conclude … avoid any thoughts and questions focused on specific results, and instead ask VERY GOOD OPEN QUESTIONS.
You may want to ask: ‘How can I make more money, or get more customers?’
- Instead, change this to: ‘What one thing can I do to make me or my business more valuable this week?’
If the question is: ‘How can I find an amazing partner?’
- Change it to: ‘What one thing can I do today to be a slightly more attractive person?’
- Or: ‘Where do I need to start going (on or offline) to increase my chances of meeting a suitably matched person?’
If it’s: ‘Why is my business not performing as I really want it to?’
- Maybe it’d be better to ask: ‘Who could give me some helpful feedback, good and bad, on my business this week?’
- Or: ‘What one process do I need to look at in depth to make some small improvements on?’
So: I hope this makes sense and you can see how these are more helpful VERY GOOD OPEN QUESTIONS.
Now the question arises: ‘Well, what if id ask these questions and nothing changes?’
And the answer is: keep asking the questions.
When you ask the right questions, your brain will eventually start to find suitable answers, or engage with other people who can help you find them.
And then things will start to change in incredible ways.
There are more questions than answers … but the answers WILL come in their own good time.
We hope this has been helpful to you –If you’d like some coaching on how to apply these personal effectiveness skills in your life, you know where to find us!
Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for small business owners.
The aim is to help you grow your business through customer loyalty, reputation and referrals … without all the hype, hassle and nonsense.
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