This week I watched the magic of psychology and sociology work together for our benefit. There was a tense (or what I then viewed as tense) business coaching conversation that needed to happen. Without getting into the details it was hard to get a hold of this individual and when it looked like we were finally going to get a hold of them I looked to Jonathan and asked how do you start this? In my mind, I’m running through all the horrible scenarios that could happen, but Jonathan Kelly, cool as a cucumber carries on the conversation acting as if nothing was wrong and we hadn’t been blowing up the person phone for weeks. The vibe of the conversation shifted to casual, almost completely normal. After the call I told Jonathan how surprised I was with how it turned out, it was not at all what I had expected. He told me you always act as if everything is normal (a nod to the sales trick of playing dumb or numb) and that is how it’s done. *Mind blown*
Leadership is just uncomfortable conversations all day long.
Just a short while later this concept was echoed by Clay. Clay said, “Leadership is just uncomfortable conversations all day long”. The more I spend time with Thrive and the business coaching team the more I see that that is the truest thing ever. This is something I can definitely continue to work on. I want to get to a place were uncomfortable conversations and situations don’t even phase me. As I have reflected on this topic a lot this week I have realized that it is not because they are just unaware of the awkwardness, they are very aware and prepared for the conversation to go in any direction, but they don’t let that change anything. Jonathan Kelly and Clay deliberately choose to go into a situation casually and jokingly because more times than not the other person will mimic your behavior. Nobody wants to be the raging madman talking to the cool calm collected guy. If I were to go into a business coaching conversation on the defensive side the other person would be able to pick up on that and they would also become defensive, and nothing productive would happen.
If you have not ever been to Mathis brothers, it’s a furniture store full of very determined salesmen and women. They loop around the store constantly asking you if need anything, what you are looking for, what is your price range, etc…They surely must know that nobody wants to talk to another salesperson five minutes after talking to the last guy. But they do continue to approach shoppers because they know that if they are intense and if they are deliberate about it, it works and they make a sale. They portray happiness and that eases the tension. In a coaches meeting this past week Clay spoke about not letting things drift and being intense and consistent. He said “You know Mathis Brothers? Well, I am Mathis Brothers.” So that is my motto going forward as I strive to become a cool cucumber during unpleasant conversations. “I am Mathis Brothers.”