I was recently reminded of how important it is for us to look for solutions from the inside-out. After a sub-par round of golf, my friend and I were talking about ways to improve his game. His instincts were telling him to improve the mechanics of his shot, where in actuality, maybe his mechanics were off because of the way he was thinking and feeling. Many of us believe that if we fix the "outside" (mechanics and techniques), the result will immediately change. That may be true short term, but if we want to sustain that success throughout the long term, I believe the change must begin at our core. What could he have done better, emotionally? Were his thoughts too "conscious," rather than visual? These are a couple of questions I hope he asks, because his game is definitely good enough, physically, to jump to another level.
I recently lost a client, and immediately started to analyze what I did wrong, technically. My "answers" weren't good enough or my solutions didn't help him with his challenge, I thought. After more analyzing, I realized that the problem stemmed from the way I was approaching him, emotionally. In other words, I wasn't connecting with his way of thinking and how he approaches challenges. Instead, I was helping him solve his "puzzle" in the way I WOULD. Looking at this situation from the inside-out helped me recognize the real reason he left, and gave me answers, guaranteeing I wouldn't repeat that mistake.
As this relates to the business world, let's ask ourselves how we can better connect with our clients and their needs, emotionally. Too often, we fall back on selling them "deals," rather than US, and what we truly offer. Everyone is an emotional creature, and whether they realize it or not, respond to that type of stimuli. What are we doing well, and how can we make it even better for them? How can we make them feel more appreciated, and feel as if we're the best option for their specific needs?
Another example to illustrate my point, that many of us can relate to...
If we're trying to get into better shape, let's focus on why we want to become healthier, rather than only focusing on the day-to-day workouts, or the food we must eat. Yes, food and exercise are extremely important, but concentrating and visualizing on why, and what we ultimately want from our "new bodies" will sustain our long term results. Of course there will be days where we don't want to get to the gym (short term), but if we can remember to look ahead, and focus on the result that this hard work will give us (long term), we'll be more inclined to battle when "we don't feel like it."
Very often, the answer is right there, inside of us... waiting to be seen.
Take time to look.