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Turn Your Head and Cough
I remember my Junior High physical like it was yesterday. It was a warm summer day in Harleysville, PA. After doing many stretches and breathing exercises on the examination table’s parchment paper, my final task was to undress as an awkward adolescent in front of my family doctor. I remember worrying I might have cancer as one of my friends had recently died from Leukemia.
This temporary fear was eclipsed when the doctor told me to drop my shorts, turn my head, and cough.
Is there not a better way to check for whatever they are checking for?
After zipping up my pants, I asked him, “So doctor, how did I do”? He responded with “You passed with flying colors.” My face went pale, as I had never heard of that phrase, and had to ask my mom what that meant. I was relieved to find out that I was cancer-free, and able to play soccer that Fall.
Getting naked whether it be in front of a doctor, or in a gym locker room, can be humiliating…and most of us avoid these situations if we can help it. Unfortunately, in order to thrive in the business world, we must get naked (become vulnerable) in front of our clients and employees.
Getting Naked is a business fable about shedding the three fears that sabotage client loyalty. Patrick Lencioni, the New York Times bestseller of “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” describes getting naked as becoming vulnerable with your clients.Vulnerability is one of the fastest ways to build trust in a relationship. Click To Tweet
Vulnerability is one of the fastest ways to build trust in a relationship. This is the foundation that all great teams must strive for.
Unfortunately, this “nakedness” is risky and can be uncomfortable, just like an annual physical. However, skipping the annual physical poses its own set of threats…perhaps they won’t catch a disease in the early stages, or be able to prevent a life-threatening illness. In the business world, problems can fester under the surface for a long time before resurfacing.
With great risk comes great reward. ~Thomas Jefferson
The Fear of Losing Business
Fear of losing business is the first of three fears and is very common, especially among entrepreneurs. You’ve got to make that sale at all costs. Don’t you? Sometimes leaders fear being vulnerable because it could be perceived as a sign of weakness, or evidence that their leadership isn’t needed. One way leaders can conquer this fear is by being “other-focused” rather than self-focused and remembering that their top priority is to help others succeed. So how does this play out?
When meeting with a potential client, your top priority shouldn’t be to “win them over.”
The number one goal is to help them with their needs. By stripping yourself of the need to close the deal, you focus on the other person and get to know them and their goals. Maybe they don’t even know what their goals and needs are. Maybe they won’t be great long-term clients. Maybe they will go to your competitor. If you set aside your fear that you will lose business, your laser-like focus will be on them. Remember…your goal is to help them first and foremost. Even if they walk and go to your competitor, your job is to help them.
Helping others is like helping yourself. ~Henry Flagler