Washing machines help us clean dirty clothes. Some of the clothes come out perfectly clean. Others may still have the remnants of a stain that is now barely visible. And then there are some clothes where the machine, no matter how you well it cleans, cannot remove the stain. The stain remains visible to where you will decide to discard that piece of clothing.
Washing machines are also a great metaphor for relationships. All of us are imperfect. We have dirt and stains that need to be cleaned up. As with washing clothes, our relationships need repeated washings to keep them looking good to where they can perform as we need them to. In my personal business coaching practice in The Woodlands business and personal relationships are very often dominate over the topics of sales, operations and profitability.
Faucets and drains are two things designed to work together. Water comes out of a faucet and goes into a sink. Once in the sink, it flows toward the drain and goes away. Or you can stop up the drain and let the sink collect water. As a personal business coach in The Woodlands and in Houston, I look for the faucets in a business such as cash flow, marketing, advertising, operational and financial processes, administrative and management style, and most importantly, the people. And I also look for the drains.
Interestingly, there are several ways to look at faucets and drains in business. A company invests a great deal of money in an advertising program. The money is the faucet. It pours out into the advertising program. The advertising program is wildly successful at bringing in new and profitable sales. The sink, the company’s cash reserves, start to fill up. The drain, which is the money going out for advertising, is slower than the faucet that is bringing in new sales causing more money to back up in the sink.
There is a song by the musical group, Alabama, “I’m in a Hurry.”
All of us appear to be in a hurry. Is that something that benefits us? At times we are in a season of hurriedness. That is understandable. But, if your whole life is that way I suggest that you are missing many things.
The first verse of the song states:
“I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”
One of the biggest aspects of the COVID 19 experience is the loss of connection with others. As a business coach, I have witnessed first-hand the challenges and some of the benefits that have come to the various businesses I collaborate with.
Obviously, COVID 19 has disrupted the way we do business and as a result, we now look at how we do business differently. One of the biggest changes is the increased number of people working remotely from home. In some cases, this has increased productivity which is good. Is it sustainable? It all depends on the position, the business, and the industry. I believe it is safe to say that in the future many companies are going to reduce their office footprint and have more people working remotely.
In previous posts, we have looked at gratitude, happiness and serving others and how your self-talk can guide you in these areas. Also, we have looked at an essential element of your mindset for successful networking. You must focus on what you can control, which is you and your thoughts. Do not focus on what you cannot control, which is others.
Part of the control issue is that when we first network with someone there can be a tendency to have a “fixer upper attitude” or “I am here to help.” While both of these may sound good, they actually can work against you and your goal of building deeper relationships through networking.
Your self-talk, what you say when you talk to yourself, is a key to keeping your networking working. In the previous post, we looked at ways to improve your self-talk, which in turn, will enhance the possibilities of building deeper relationships through networking.
What I find interesting is what very successful people say to themselves in order to overcome significant challenges. Regardless of where their inspiration comes from which could be a situation, a person or a goal most truly successful people are happy. That doesn’t mean that they don’t get down or have doubts. All of us do. But their self-talk causes them to overcome what is challenging them and in the process of moving beyond the challenge they create happiness.
In the previous posts we looked at several factors that can keep your networking working. In the last post we looked at the culture you bring into every encounter. A large part of your culture revolves around what do you say when you talk to yourself.
Your self-talk is critical to your success, let alone happiness. Why is this important? What you are saying to yourself on the inside will manifest itself in your words and actions on the outside. Obviously, this will be a key determinant in achieving the goal of networking, to build deeper relationships.