The other day I had lunch with two prospective clients. We spent some time brainstorming ideas for how they could each help their staffs be more customer-centric, and deliver an even better and more productive sales experience.
About two-thirds of the way through lunch it became very obvious that one of the gentlemen always had a reason why something wouldn't work. I wouldn't say he was completely negative. He wants to improve his business, or he wouldn't have invested in the time to meet with me. He just tends to jump first to the potential negatives of any new idea.
He is by no means unique. When asked to consider trying new or different things, it's almost natural to first focus on the challenges of the new plan. That's how most of us are wired, and that's a thought process that can protect us from making some big mistakes.
The problem is that focusing only on the challenges is an unbalanced view, one that can keep us from opportunities to improve and grow our business and people.
As a leader, it's essential that you keep a balanced viewpoint. Whether something is your idea, came from a staff member, is a directive from the home office, or is something you see or hear another store or company do, you want to discover the reasons why something will AND will not work.
Here's a simple Keep It Successfully Simple tip for doing just that. Take a piece of paper and put the idea at the top. Then draw a line down the middle to create two columns. In the left column list the reasons it won't work. In the right column list the reasons it will work.
Now go back and look at your list of reasons of why it won't work. Validate or invalidate each one. Don’t just review them. Validate or invalidate each one.
Sometimes these reasons can be overcome. Maybe not easily, but difficulty alone is not a barrier. Cross off those reasons you've invalidated
This leaves you with a balanced list of valid reasons why something will and will not work. Now you can make an informed decision.
Remember that there are always two lists of reasons - the "why" and the "why not" for any new idea or plan for your business.
So let me ask, do you consider both why and why not something will work before making a decision? If not, you might learn that much more is achievable than you first thought.
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and speaker/consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their sales results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results. Learn about Doug's keynotes and workshops at DougFleener.com.