I am a dad, husband, coach, and podcaster for those of you who don’t know me. I pride myself on staying neutral in my thinking and focusing on the positive. But, just like all humans, we are flawed. We all have thoughts the pop into our conscious or sub-conscious that make us second guess ourselves. Am I on the right path? Should I respond to that email that way? Why did she act that way towards me? How can I stay positive when everything isn’t going my way?
Recently, I found myself in a bit of a funk with the Covid pandemic. As a father, I was inadvertently focusing on things out of my control, precisely the opposite advice I give to myself and my kids. I always tell my kids that we have two items in our control – our attitude and effort! So, I now realized that I needed to get out of this state of mind. But how? I took a deep breath and realized that I am in control if I make a choice. I told my wife that we needed to watch a show that would make us laugh, and then I said to her that tomorrow morning, I would start the day with gratitude for my own life and then send out positive notes to friends or colleagues on why I appreciate them.
I found that gratitude for others can quickly spawn a new conversation and allow for curiosity to occur.
Fast forward to the next day, and I followed through on my commitment I made to my wife on gratitude. After sending out these positive texts and having one interactive zoom call, I felt like the “Casey” I know; positive and sees life’s opportunity. I found myself realizing the impact that gratitude had on my own life if I make a choice. Since then, I’ve been doing this daily gratitude practice, and it is a habit. I can’t wait to do each morning as it fills my tank and helps me set the tone for the day with positive intention. I found that gratitude for others can quickly spawn a new conversation and allow for curiosity to occur. Curiosity is the gift we give ourselves and the people we are talking to, allowing for relationships to grow and flourish. Through self-reflection, I now understand how the tone in our voice and the look in our eye can help take our curiosity to the next level.
Positive discussions allow us to be more curious, show more gratitude to the person we are talking to and thank them for sharing their knowledge.
Naturally, I am a curious person; however, I didn’t realize how interested I was until I began writing over the years and even coaching other sales leaders and executives. What I’ve found is that a little curiosity goes a LONG way. The power of asking great questions that are meaningful to others allows for someone else to feel important. It will enable someone else to share a problem facing them, a story they want to tell, or a topic they love sharing. These questions must be open-ended, which allows someone to tell their story. I share a simple tip with others on the types of questions I ask to follow the TED model; Tell me, Explain, or Describe. When we ask a question with those three words versus “Do you,” “Can you,” “Is it,” watch how the conversation will change right in front of you. Positive discussions allow us to be more curious, show more gratitude to the person we are talking to and thank them for sharing their knowledge. With all of this said, the most critical element I will share with you is listening. Not hearing, but listening.
Listening is one of the best gifts we can give someone. Just stop and think for a minute; when was the last time you were talking to someone, and you could tell they were distracted? How did that make you feel? I’m guessing shitty. You were excited to tell someone something, and they were texting or not making eye contact. They also didn’t ask any questions, specifically TED based, which meant the conversation was one-sided and was not going much further. Transversely, think about a time when someone listened intently, and their eyes laser-focused on yours. They put their phone down and made you feel like the most crucial person in the world. Now, how did that make you feel? Amazing, right? So, let’s use this little exercise as a reminder that we have these gifts if we remind ourselves daily. We can be grateful to be curious about others and to listen intently.
For 20 years, I’ve been in sales and sales leadership roles and have had more success than I ever thought I would have. When I think about what allowed me to achieve elite results, it all comes back to what I’ve shared with you today. Make it about others and not yourself. Be curious! Listen with the intent to learn versus listen to persuade, and watch your relationships grow right in front of you!
To learn more about me, my coaching programs, or my book (WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL), please visit me at www.caseyjacox.com.