The last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about developing resilience. The ability to get back up when life knocks us down is essential to our personal and professional success. However, resilience is also required when you want to reach out and attract new clients to your organization or inspire more people to embrace your ideas.
Every day you have the opportunity to engage, influence and encourage your co-workers, clients, family members and friends. The people in your world need someone like you to help them get from where they are to where they want or need to be. However, many of those opportunities are not taken because the fear of rejection overpowers the desire to ask someone if you can help them. This is especially true when it comes to business development or selling a new idea.
How effective are you at reaching out to people who could use your service or benefit from your ideas? How effective is each member of your team?
Karen Reivich, author of The Resilience Factor: How Changing The Way You Think Will Change Your Life For Good, offers this survey to help you measure your ability to reach out to others.
Please print out this part of her Resilience Test (Reaching Out) and rate each item for how true it is of you, using the following scale.
1 = not at all true 2 = sometimes or somewhat true 3 = moderately true 4 = usually true 5 = very true of me
_____ I am curious.
_____ I’m the kind of person who likes to try new things.
_____ What other people think about me does not influence my behavior.
_____ I look at challenges as a way to learn and improve myself.
_____ I feel most comfortable in situations in which I am not the only one responsible.
_____ I don’t like new challenges.
_____ I am uncomfortable when meeting new people.
_____ I am most comfortable in my established routines.
It takes courage, commitment and skill to reach out to someone who could benefit from your expertise and service. It also takes learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable when trying new strategies and taking relationship risks.
If the fear of rejection is holding you back from reaching out to the people you want to help, consider adding these positive actions to your daily routine.
Serve before selling. What prevents many professionals from winning new business or creating more support for their ideas are unhealthy thoughts about “selling.” Remember, serving is all about what you give. Selling is seen as what you get. If you serve people in a remarkable way and help them reach their goals, you will become their resource of first choice.
Change what you make NO mean. Too often people take rejection personally and create a negative story about themselves or the other person. Remember, NO just means not now. It gives you the opportunity to learn from the experience and create a different approach next time. It also helps you prioritize who you should be calling. You can ask anyone for anything if you’re OK with getting a NO in response to your request.
Positive action always beats intention. Reach out today to someone who might benefit from your service or idea. Take personal responsibility for finding new and creative ways to connect with and serve the people you want to help. The only cure for fear of rejection is taking small positive actions consistently. Thinking about what you want to do or worrying about not being able to do it will prevent you from moving forward…and worse…the other person will never benefit from developing a relationship with you.
You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone. Who will you help today?
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin