Friday, July 16, 2010

The Phone Call

Much of my job involves talking with people on the phone. And sometimes, I simply don't know how it went.

I just got off a call with a prospect that I know fairly well. But there was an energy of "I am in a hurry" that came through as she spoke to me. I was not prepared for that, even though it has happened before. And now I am beating myself up a bit, wondering if I could have done better or gotten more.

Of course, the only call that matters is the next one. And what seems to work best is to have an intention, prepare for that, explain to the other person what that is (this is where I did not do well), and adapt based on what you hear.

In other words, have an agenda, but be flexible. And listen more than you talk. If you spend your time panicking about what to say next, you may not hear what the other person is trying to tell you.

It is entirely possible that what she was telling me was "I don't have much time. You are doing well. Here is everything that you need to know." But it is possible that something else is going on, too. Or that something is missing.

Ambiguity can feel like an enemy. But ambiguity is also our life. And ambiguity, and the not knowing that comes along with it, can be our practice, too.


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