Possibility thinking

Affirmative action, Human Brain, Labelling, Marketing, possibility thinking, Sales, Thinking

A lot of times I get stuck in my thinking. This especially happens in stressful situations where I ascribe an intention without the facts. To all of us, a person not picking up the phone – seems like the person is trying to avoid us, then our mind goes in frenzy identifying all the reasons that the person could be avoiding us and our mind takes us back into some random situation and we feel all bad and low.

We end up putting labels on the person, that he/she is bad, deliberately doing this to us etc. etc.

Its quite possible that the person’s phone was on silent and she didn’t notice. She may end up calling you when she sees your call and then you realise you have ended up wasting so much time.

So generally what I have started doing when I feel that something is not okay, I take the initiative in trying to check out first if everything’s okay. A lot of times I have come to realise that the person was going through some personal challenges of his own and could not have been in a position to talk with me.

But more than that I realize that there was nothing personal that this person had against me.

Now why did I give you all this story. Because a lot of times when a prospect stops responding to you, we end up ascribing all kinds of motives. When a product that you were so passionate about is not picked up in the market, then also we start ascribing all kinds of ideas.

With possibility thinking you try to look at – is there something else, is there something which I am not noticing, is there something which is absolutely unrelated to us because of which the prospect has stopped talking to us.

In sales this happens most when suddenly the prospects stop responding to your mails. More often than not I have observed that the manager gives another responsibility to the person you were interacting with and he puts your proposal on the back burner. Nothing personal with you.

One of best ways to get someone to open up in such situations is to write an “apology mail for bothering her and asking if there’s something we could have done better to not have put her off” In most situations an apology mail like this gets the person to respond with the exact situation because most people want to be fair and they don’t want you apologising for something you didn’t do.

On the other hand you could also have competition which you never thought of , suddenly appear and suddenly sabotage your sale by targeting the boss of the person you were interacting with.

With possibility thinking you like to keep asking questions without getting negative about the situation, and then getting it clarified. Time is the most important thing for a sales or marketing person. Spending that time , rueing about and ascribing all kinds of ideas to the person is a waste of time. its better to keep eliminating negative possibilities and identifying more positive possibilities.

This is not about positive thinking, about a glass being half empty or full. This is about being constructive in your usage of the limited resource that you have – called time.

Till next time then. Keep thinking in terms of possibilities.

Carpe Diem!!!

Labeling your experience makes a difference

Human Brain, Labelling, Thinking

I learned this line of thinking about 20 years back.

I was in Singapore on a business trip. My partner in Singapore had a customer who was having a “problem” and they needed our expertise to solve the problem.

Till that time I always labelled a “problem” as a problem. As engineers we are trained to solve different kinds of problems. Whether they are problems related to calculus or related to magnetic interference in an electrical signal.

Now when I met my partner in Singapore, he changed my whole attitude towards ” problems” by calling them challenges. Especially when dealing with people – and all business problems are about dealing with people – if you label the problem as a challenge, the brain functions differently.

When you look at something in business as a problem the approach that your brain takes is adversarial. It kind of goes into figuring out all kinds of ways of how to oppose the person/company which is causing us the problem.

On the other hand when you label something as a challenge, you try to work collaboratively with the prospect / customer to find a solution. It now makes the whole situation completely different and easier to manage. Now your brain starts doing possibility thinking and looks for various options.

Coming back to my partner in Singapore, I was amazed at the way he labelled the situation with the customer also and then collaboratively worked out a solution between them, customer and us. This turned out to be our first order from Singapore twenty years back.

Since then a lot of times I have observed that the way I label the situation has a lot to do the way I solve it. If I am labelling the situation as manageable then I find a solution faster. The brain does get influenced by the labels we put.

Try this and let me know who you benefit.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Irrational Confidence – II

Affirmative action, confidence, Habits

In my last post of the same title, I had referred about my own near death experiences.

I urge you also to keep an attitude of “things will work out fine” if God gives you even a 5% chance. These are depressing times with so many people falling sick to the pandemic and people being locked up in their homes. If my real life experiences can help one person become better then it would be a mission accomplished.

Let me give you another example where I stuck to a glimmer of hope for more than 8 weeks. In 2010 my mother-in-law had to be admitted to the hospital with very low Oxygen levels and was put on a ventilator and life support systems in the ICU. For first few days the doctors kept doing various tests to figure out the issues and kept changing the treatments. However after week two of being on the ventilator & life support systems, the doctors started to give up. After the third week on the ventilator they started telling my wife that they don’t expect any change to take place and so we should remove her from the ventilator and let her pass away. However I was steadfast in my view that till she is responding to our speaking we will not remove her from the ventilator & life support systems.

I told my wife and son that everyday we would go and speak in her ear positive ideas of how we were expecting her to comeback home and what we would do after that. To cut the long story short after 6 weeks she was “off” the ventilator and other life support systems and was moved to just a “bipapp” an air pushing machine. Another 2 weeks in the hospital and she was back home. She lived a full life for 3 more years after that. Even the doctors thought it was a miracle.

During those 6 weeks when the doctors would mention that there was no point in keeping her on the life support systems I would sometimes think if I was doing the right thing by giving her the pain of all the machines being attached to her. But on the other hand I also had the view that if God wanted to take her away He would. I was no one to pre-empt the decision. As far as I was concerned if she was willing to live then I needed to ensure she gets a chance to live.

Again the same 5% possibility thinking made me take the decision. You could again think of it as Irrational Confidence that I had. I would look at it more that God gave me the 5% chance and I worked to support and give the mental strength to make it happen,

In your life you will come across a lot of situations where you may think of giving up. But even if you have a 5% chance, my view would be that you should take it. If you get through you will grow yourself tremendously and also have a lot of stories to tell. After all life is all about the experiences you make.

Till next time

Carpe Diem!!!