Are you willing to move through uncomfortable situations rather than avoid them?
Are you willing to respond to work-related situations rather than to react to them?
We can't help but react; it's an emotional situation that happens within instantaneously...in our minds and our bodies. Responding, however, carries within it the option of choice. When we choose how to respond to uncomfortable situations, we are giving ourselves options. Or...we can stay with our defensive reactions, karate-chopping both our real and perceived enemies identically and without discernment.
At best, our defensiveness will make us miserable (and that's at its best!); at worst, our defensiveness will take down our business's effectiveness.
For instance: A client says to you, "You know, I'd really rather you had given me more of xyz when I asked you for abc!" Your internal reaction, and your internal dialogue, is inelegant: "What the hell are you saying to me? That's not what you asked for! You said you wanted xyz, you moron! Don't blame me for not giving you what you didn't tell me you wanted!" When you are hijacked by defensiveness, you want to tell your client to take a hike (and that's you being polite at that moment!). When you are in control of your response, you might take a breath and take stock of what is important:
What exactly are your options when you are reacting defensively and you would rather respond?
(1) Communicate! At least for a few moments, give this person the benefit of the doubt. Give yourself a moment to find out if what you think is being said, is really what is being said! Believe it or not, there is usually a possibility of misinterpreting what another is trying to communicate. If you use the phrasing "When you said xyz, it sounded to me like you were saying abc! Is that what you meant?", you will be opening the door to a calmer and more professional interaction, and you will increase your possibility of both learning something, and maintaining a relationship. Keep asking questions until you have clarity about what was said and what was meant. Then you can respond from a place of calm strength, and you will feel informed and far less upset.
seriously benefits you. And that is your gold nugget. Could the gold nugget be that, in the midst of your extreme discomfort, you took a very mature and challenging moment to check in with your client to determine if your perceptions were accurate? Or was the gold nugget that what your client said was actually helpful to you, when you let go of feeling judged? Or was your gold nugget that you found an elegant way to free yourself and your client from a bad relationship by respectfully ending it? You have to grow the discernment and self-awareness to know!
One thing is for sure: If you simply react, and never find ways to get to the power of choice in how you respond to colleagues and clients, you either slow down your business or you minimize your comfort. Neither option is optimal, and neither is worthy of who you are: a business professional.
The Project Cheetah is a Virtual Contractor bringing quality digital marketing, event management and creative solutions to entrepreneurs and small-to-medium sized businesses. (For information about Personal Growth Empowerment and Communication webinars and workshops for business professionals, contact Lori at ProjectCheetahHelp@gmail.com.)
Is it a computer skill? Is it a project management skill? Is it an interpersonal skill?
Although I have those, none of those are the #1 VA Skill.
The #1 VA Skill, above all others, is this: The confidence in your ability to figure things out.
I will give you an example, and then I will share with youi how the confidence to discover answers is entrepreneurially life-saving.
EXAMPLE: I'm working with a client in another state, and both of us are working with a major company to bring a Conference to successful completion. He asked me to work with one of our company colleagues to make necessary changes to their website. His assumption: That I could work through our colleague's computer to make the changes in a platform I know something about.
My question: Can I actually take control of someone else's computer through GoToMeeting???
My go-to (no pun intended) answer to questions of any kind is always Google. Google knows everything. There is nothing I can ask that hasn't been asked before. Answers abound. I swear, it's like the angels singing!
Within literally 3 minutes, I had the answer to my question, and I communicated the answer to my colleague. The project was completed successfully within an hour.
LEARN, LEARN, LEARN
Here is why the confidence to learn on the fly is so valuable: When you know that there is almost nothing you can't do, there is almost nothing you can't do! To your client, you become the go-to Answer Queen, the one who can take anything on and make it happen.
The other way to look at work is: I can only offer what I know. And that will hamstring you every time. Surprised? Don't misunderstand me: I wouldn't want to work with a brain surgeon who had never seen a brain. But what you need to be capable of is growing as you go.
The more you learn on this job, the more you will be able to market and know on the next one.
So, market what you know. Absolutely. But don't ignore or underestimate WHO you are: someone who can research, figure things out, and bring your qualities and your smarts to the table. If that is who you are, don't ignore it. If that is who you would like to be, those are qualities, attitudes and beliefs that can be acquired.
Those are important qualities. And as you get clients who can recognize those qualities, you will keep those clients.
For Virtual Contracting, and Empowered VA Training, contact Lori at ProjectCheetahHelp@gmail.com.
Lori Kirstein, owner of The Project Cheetah Consulting partners in bringing entrepreneurs' and small-medium-sized businesses' social media marketing to the next level, and creating processes and upleveled communications to business management projects.