What if you every time you interacted with clients you made an effort to truly observe them and how they responded to you? What if instead of focusing on what you are saying, feeling and thinking, you focused on them? The ability to do this is what sets successful leaders apart from everyone else.
In my book, A Climb to the Top, I highlight Eric Bernstein, formerly the chief operating officer at eFront. Eric is now President of Broadridge Asset Management Solutions, yet his mindset has not changed. “It’s shocking to me how important emotion is in our business,” says Bernstein. “I want clients to feel that I am not just a software vendor; I’m their partner. The majority of my job is to transform something from whatever it is to what I want it to be. Ninety percent of that is the human element.”
It’s this human element that has set him apart from so many others. His ability to communicate by observing those he speaks with has allowed him to successfully convert countless prospects into clients. “I’m a body language guy,” Bernstein says. “I’m a psychology guy. You can always sense where someone is. You have to be able to pick up on that and determine when something is bothering them. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the job or in life, in a presentation or a one-on-one meeting. It starts and ends with their emotions.”
When Eric meets a prospect, his initial interaction with him or her is often met with descriptions like interesting and intriguing. From the onset, he asks questions, starting with how his prospects do their jobs. In the middle of a response, Eric has been known to stop them dead in their tracks. “I tell them, ‘I’m not interested in what you do,’” says Bernstein. “They (often) look at me funny, and (then) I say, ‘I’m more interested in what you want to do. I want to know the ideal; what you’re looking for.’ I focus on what is meaningful to the guy on the other side of the table.”
Imagine if each of the individuals who worked for you felt sincere interest from you like Bernstein shows toward prospects – how do you think that would impact the work environment? Imagine if you gave that level of attention to anyone – your spouse, child, friend, etc. What if you made it about them?
That’s what effective leaders and communicators do; they take the time to understand who they are interacting with and leverage that connection to inspire and motivate. Learn how to truly see, hear and understand those you lead – visit, www.chuckgarcia.com