Archive for category Relationships
My latest booklet, Quick Guide III – How to Bridge the Pillars of Successful Relationships (QG3), focuses on complex, inter- and intra- corporate, many-people-to-many-people, business relationships.
There are sound, logical, rewarding, tangible and emotional reasons for building healthy relationships. These very same reasons apply equally to personal relationships.
Here’s an extract from QG3…
Logic – less cost
Research shows that once you’ve established a customer relationship based on mutual trust and value, it takes five times the effort to build the same relationship with a new customer as it does to maintain it with your current customer.
When the cost of new prospect sales is five times that of existing satisfied customer sales, you don’t need a certificate in mathematics to appreciate the importance of satisfying, if not exceeding, the expectations of existing customers irrespective of the premium you earn from brand loyalty.
Premium – higher earnings
A reputable brand image makes selling a lot easier. I had no problem whatsoever getting to see new clients when I worked for IBM. Cold-calling for an organisation that isn’t a ‘household’ name, however, was a real ‘eye-opener’ for me after I made the switch.
The value of your reputation is the premium that customers will pay to do business with you over and above what they will pay your competitors, all else being equal, plus the cost reduction in sales your brand reputation affords you.
A simple example: ‘Household-name’, supplier A, renowned for its high quality products and services, sells a PC. ‘Relatively-unknown’ supplier, B, clones A’s PC with the exact same components, guarantees and terms of service. Intrinsically there’s no difference between PCs from either supplier. The cost of production and distribution of each product is the same.
Look at the buying/selling process from a customer perspective. All else being equal…
- What price difference will a customer pay (for the increased: reassurance, sense of status or another emotional, differential source of value they feel) for a PC from supplier A over supplier B?
- Reduction in sales cycle time and resourcing: how quicker and easier is it for a seller to convince a customer of the quality of a PC from supplier A compared with supplier B?
Brand value = [(what customers pay you) – (what customers pay for the exact same product/service from your competitors)] + (increase in productivity/cost-reduction in sales afforded by your brand)
Legacy – higher contribution
How do you want to look back on your time in sales and management at the end of your career? How do you want to be remembered? As a seller, buyer or leader: do you want to feel you’ve kept (or at least strived to keep) the agreements you made?
Maybe a business world forged with 100% truthful relationships is somewhat of a pipe dream, but as you look at the world’s economy and the ‘wars’ for limited resources right now, what choice do we have? And we have to imagine something before necessity will mother its invention – do we not?
‘You’ can either contribute to a world where wealth and power are shared through equitable negotiation – or not, truth or illusion/deception, abundance or scarcity, oneness or separateness, love or fear. ‘You’ choose! (But this is the topic contained in another book of mine, Defrag your Soul.)
Paul C Burr
Image sourced from Moments Count
Paul C Burr
Rather than seeing success as a specific outcome, change your focus to seeing it as a network of ’10 out of 10′ relationships. When everyone who can stop you achieving success is onside – there is no one and nothing to stop you.
Image sourced from Think Holistic, Act Personal
You cannot achieve success without forging equally successful relationships – starting with the relationship you have with yourself.
Think of a business or personal situation that’s important to you right now.
Who are all the people (include yourself) who can stop you from being successful (i.e. they have the power of veto)?
Give your relationship with each person a score out of 10, where 10 means ‘the relationship with this person is exactly where we both want it to be’.
To get the relationship to a 10, what does each person on the list want from you?
Are you willing to give it? (And what might you want in return?)
If so when?
When we are over-performing, the stage of success is filled with major players and acolytes; all accountable for their right to stand in the blazing footlights. On the other hand, when we underperform; the stage is often deserted apart from the chosen few, caught in the beam of a single spotlight, being asked to account for themselves.
The idea of measuring people to improve ‘accountability’ is also a hierarchical myth. Over-performers apart, it results in form filling to meet the ‘numbers’ and dodge the truth if needed – be it in the private (e.g. sales forecasting) or public (e.g. centralization of schools/hospitals statistics) sectors. A corporate board member of the world’s largest IT company referred this phenomenon to me as “…‘management’s perfumed pig’. What we need instead is truth!”
You, I, we, tick the boxes with answers so that hopefully, in management’s eyes, we aren’t singled out from the crowd. So where is the truth found?
Image courtesy of the Nikki Thomas Network
The journey starts by a commitment to treat successes and setbacks, as opportunities to learn what to repeat and avoid, with equanimity. Secondly, we answer fundamental questions about our behaviour and its effect:
- What is it we do that aids/abets and what is the effect of this ‘helpful’ behaviour?
- What is it we do that inhibits/hinders and what is the effect of this ‘unhelpful’ behaviour?
- In the latter case, what could we do differently and what effect might that have?
- Overall, what do we do/don’t do; knowingly/unknowingly that creates or somehow contributes to the successes and setbacks of ourselves and others?
- And even if we were wise to all the answers to the above questions, do we choose the courage to act upon ‘the wisdom from failure’?
Lack of accountability is only the symptom. The problem is fear.
People are fearful of being perceived as failing or incompetent (by themselves as much as others). People thus fear being accountable.
If management were to have only one task, it’s not about measuring, it’s about releasing the fear in their organization and filling the subsequent void created with wisdom and courage.
An organization releases its fear and gets wise one person at a time, each of their own volition.
Paul C Burr
Kids take in everything. Only recently have I discovered the extent to which parents influence their children’s whole lives, way beyond the age they leave home. Kids accept and live the Law of Attraction with full accountability and responsibility.
A child seeks love, security, warmth and touch. When a child receives not love, not security, not warmth or not touch, that child accepts full responsibility for not receiving what they want. Furthermore, it blames itself for having neither the physical nor the intellectual strength to deal with untoward behaviour in a mature adult fashion. It doesn’t know how to channel the negative emotions (shame, anger, sadness or fear) that arise within. How could it?
The child feels helpless about how to cope and so locks away the negative emotions in a shield or ‘bubble-wrap’ of etheric energy. The child develops compensatory behaviours (e.g. remaining silent, denying/blocking negative thoughts about others, blaming self) that shield its conscious mind from the negative emotions hidden within its shadows.
This is not a mature decision and it’s not exclusive to children. How well do we adults react in such situations? Ask yourself, “How often do I…
- …hide my hurt or sadness to avoid confrontation?”
- …resort to anger to get what I want?”
- …manipulate someone emotionally to get what I want?”
- …use brute force to get my way?”
- …harbour ill feeling?”
None of the five strategies are mature acts, I suggest. Let us look at Strategy 1 because that is how many people I know deal with confrontation to begin with. Many adults, including me, when faced with controversy, let things be and say nothing. We either do not have, or choose not to employ, an effective strategy to deal with unwanted or inappropriate behaviour. Instead, we remain silent. We hope the issue will die down, go away and all will be forgotten in time. Let us not confuse weak with meek.
- When weak, you put yourself second, you subsume yourself to someone else with disregard for your own feelings. You place their feelings above your own and you hide behind a veil but the negativity lingers. You feel shame from not speaking or being your truth. You feel shame because you choose not the courage to be meek.
- Meek, I suggest, is putting your honour on an equal status with those around you. You do not need to use brute force to get your point of view across. You do not resort to conflict, anger or threatening behaviour. You do not manipulate or seek to instil anger, sadness, fear or shame in others either. Instead you seek to put your point across constructively, positively and truthfully – so that others understand the impression they make on you. Your seek parity, not to win outright. You speak or act according to your truth. You choose courage to be meek.
Picture courtesy of Doves and Serpents.
If we act ‘not-meekly’, i.e. weakly, how can we expect children, to whom we set an example, to choose courage? Furthermore, kids not only take in every conscious thing that’s going on around them, they take in all the untold, unsaid things as well. They absorb, at a subliminal level, all the endemic family moods, trouble and strife. They register the negative vibrations from their environment and store the information in their Etheric Body (a blog about the Etheric Body will follow). They/we develop compensatory behaviours; one or more of the five strategies cited earlier to cope.
Kids blame themselves for all the feelings of insecurity they endure. They make themselves fully accountable and responsible for the untoward behaviour of their parents, for instance. They convince themselves that they caused it and therefore they blame themselves accordingly. (The very morning of writing this paragraph, a lady who had suffered child abuse appeared on the BBC1 TV morning show. She described the complexity and paradox of how a child can still love a parent who abuses them.)
In her wonderful and insightful book, Your Secret Self, Tracy Marks explains the subtle logic of this childhood dynamic. If the child were to blame their parents for untoward behaviour and place themselves as completely innocent (which they are) without the intellectual or physical ability (which they do not have) to change their environment; they, in effect, relinquish all power (to change things) and hope for their lives.
On the other hand, if they consider their untoward parents or carers to be normal loving people and blame themselves for everything that happens – then at least they give themselves hope. They give themselves the ability to ‘rectify’ themselves in the hope that their parents will show the love and security they seek.
Faced with a no -win situation, the child blames themself, wraps away the negative emotions in their subconscious mind and develops compensatory behaviours. They hide their feelings away. In denial, they pretend that all is okay with their parents. But they can withdraw from wanting or expecting love. Their self worth plummets.
A damaging behavioural subroutine sets in. It can stay with the unloved, insecure child into their adult lives. In their adolescent years they may well seek escape. Their susceptibility to drug addiction and, in extreme cases, self harming increases.
Paul C Burr
 Ref: Your Secret Self, by Tracy Marks, Part Three, The Psychodynamics of Twelfth House Conflicts and Part Four, The Process of Integration: Twelfth House Liberation.