I was in an excellent discussion last Wednesday with my fellow members of Bizlinx in the glorious surroundings of the World Heritage Site at Blenheim Palace. We were sitting in a beautiful room, the Malplaquet, overlooking the formal gardens where fountains played and the sun shone. There were 10 of us around the table thinking aloud about our business decisions.
At the meeting two comments made me feel really good. I wanted to share the insight from them because of their value.
The first one was like this. It was my turn to talk about the wins and the exciting opportunities opening up for my business. I outlined the two proposals I’d got in the pipeline as well as the clients I was already working with. Half way through, one of my colleagues, someone I have a great deal of respect for, stopped me. He said he wanted to ask a challenging question. He gently and respectfully asked whether what I was doing was helping to resolve a serious dilemma I had shared with the group some months previously. It was a question that was entirely unexpected and completely welcome.
The second was when another member, again another highly capable and shrewd MD commented that she had enjoyed reading my blog and she thought I wrote well.
Two moments. The two people concerned probably thought no more about it afterwards. I did.
In the first example, the person showed his concern. He had remembered the dilemma I had voiced to the group. It had been worrying me for some time. He brought it to the attention of the rest of the group. It had obviously made an impression on him. He asked me a valuable and influential question. And in asking the question, it helped me to gain insight and moved me on.
In the second, the person had gone to the trouble of reading my last blog post “Do You Listen Deeply Enough?”. She then gave me her reaction. And knowing her to be a woman of integrity who’s involved in marketing meant she knew about good writing. I felt warmed and delighted.
Many’s the time when I show my concern or appreciation for my client, they behave with surprise and pleasure. It’s quite stark and poignant – particularly with men. It may be the culture in this country (the UK) – or perhaps this is a universal phenomenon, that in a competitive environment one expects to get criticised and challenged. One rarely, if ever get appreciated. Even more so in these straightened times. I hear a great deal of criticism of people in public life. I don’t hear much praise. I often wonder what impact it has, even on the most confident.
Honest praise is profoundly influential. When you appreciate someone for what they do right, they remember you. They may even write about you! You leave a lasting positive impression and create a powerful bond of trust and confidence.
Many thanks to my fellow Bizlinx members for your kindness and generosity. It won’t be forgotten.