Livia Jenvey | July 16, 2018
In the continuation of the four communication mistakes to avoid, last week we discussed the second common mistake: Assuming They Know The Basics.
This week we will dive into the 3rd big one: Doubting Your Gut. This means, when you are communicating with someone and your gut gives you clues there is something off, you ignore your gut and proceed to something, which will cause you harm down the line.
This often happens in those moments when you are communicating with someone you are trying to get a strategic connection with. Let me give you an example of where this is seen.
You are attending a networking event for your company. You’re mingling with people in the room and happen to meet someone -- let’s call him Jake for simplicity. As you speak with Jake at this networking event, you find out he has a business connection to Xyz Company, a company you are trying to connect with. As you are speaking with Jake, he tells you how close he is to owner of Xyz company, he is ‘BFFs’ with the company owner. You’re really eager to get connected to Xyz company and you continue the conversation with Jake trying to see if he can get you an in with the company owner. Yet during this conversation your gut is telling you something is off in this conversation, that there’s something wrong, but you ignore it. Jake asks you for your business card to give to Xyz company owner and you immediately give it to Jake. Then a week later, you find out Jake knows the owner of the Xyz company all right, but not is a positive way. You now regret giving your card to him, because you realize being associated to Jake can lead you to getting a negative association and no deal with Xyz company.
This example, though extreme as it sounds, could have been avoided if you listened to your intuition, that gut feeling you had that something was wrong, instead of ignoring it. Here’s a trick to help you listen to your gut if you are faced with a similar situation:
Excuse Yourself From the Conversation
If your gut is bugging you, telling you that something is not right, politely excuse your self from the conversation. This will allow you time away to think of the situation and decide how to proceed next.
Get Their Information Instead For Follow-up
Instead of immediately handing over your business card to someone you’re unsure about, get their information instead. In the situation with Jake, you could have gotten his card and did a little research to find out if he would have been a good connection to you or not.
Thus the next time you are speaking with someone and you get that gut feeling that there is something not quite right, listen to it. It could be preventing you from going down a negative path and providing you with the ability to pause, so you can think it through and decide which direction to take next.
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