This weekend is both Easter and Passover, and it’s the Final Four in college basketball. And yes, April Fools Day is Sunday. It’s a big weekend for reflection, devotion, game watching and, in all likelihood: CONVERSATIONS.

So to get you ready, here’s a quick test of your conversational skills:

Imagine this scenario:

John sees an acquaintance Jane in the parking lot Friday morning and greets her with, “Hi, Jane. How are you doing? What’s new?”

In reply, Jane says, “Great, I had a hard, but enjoyable Pilates workout this morning but I wish I was ready for this weekend’s schedule. I still have a lot still to get done.”

How do you think John responds? How would you respond to Jane?

Two options:

John’s Option 1
“That’s cool. Yeah, I took a spin class last night, which I loved. And I’ve got to get to the grocery store and get cracking on straightening up the house.”


John’s Option 2
“Oh, wow, I’m happy for you. What was the workout? And are you cooking this weekend?”

Too many of us answer with #1 and our conversations and relationships are suffering because of it. John asked, “How are you?” yet, if he responds with the first option, he is suggesting that he really doesn’t care; it’s all about him. Did he even care about Jane’s reply? How do we know? We are all guilty of it at some point, though some more than others.

With response 1 John is risking (if he cares) Jane thinking less of him. Jane may completely forget the encounter entirely, or worst case thinks “What a jerk! “Why did he even ask me in the first place if all he wanted to do was talk about himself” or at least that’s the risk.
I don’t think the “what about me” Option 1 is mean-spirited, but I do think it’s egotistical. As fallible humans, we too often make respect and measuring or judging ourselves against others the priority rather than seeking to understand. See Covey, Stephen.

And it’s hurting our relationships.

With every occurrence of the option 1 response, John risks Jane thinking she’d really rather not talk to John or people like him, it’s always about them.

Now think about Option 2.

“I’m happy for you. “ John is sharing in Jane’s emotion – he’s sharing the joy showing that in this moment in this conversation he’s listening.

Then, he asks two questions. He’s is showing that he cares and is interested in Jane’s life, not merely waiting for his turn to talk about himself.

With Option 2, Jane is now invited to open up more. John and Jane’s relationship is enriched. Jane thinks a bit more highly of John.

How does this relate to sales? See this post.

Now, go talk to your family and friends and make those conversations about them! Not you, unless of course, they ask.

Have a great weekend and GO BLUE!!

(Yes, a certain NCAA bracket needs the Wolverines to cut down the nets.)

SalesReformSchool: Food for Thought

Last week, I read a fantastic New Yorker magazine long-read article about Henry Worsley, Antarctic explorer. Reading about Worsley’s frigid expeditions reminded me of The Martian, the book by ‎Andy Weir, although I enjoyed the Matt Damon movie as well.   Worsley’s leadership skills, preparation, and mental and physical toughness are exemplary. I like to think of both stories as extreme examples of the outer limits of human potential, and that we all are capable of much more than we think. After all, Worsley is a human just like us. Highly recommend.

 SalesReformSchool: Extracurricular

To cleanse or not to cleanse. Maybe you’ve asked yourself that question. I often thought that you should “Juice” because you like drinking your meals, not to cleanse. Instead, exercise.  Maybe I’m right.   “Regular exercise is the most popular way that people unintentionally help their body to cleanse.”

That’s all for today.

Good Selling!

Through SalesReformSchool, I am available to you for Sales Process Design, Sales Messaging Creation, On-boarding/In-boarding Sales Team Workshops, Keynote Addresses, Facilitation, Group or One-on-One Coaching, Pipeline Reviews and other Sales Management Consulting.