HIT Piece 11.15.2016

I don’t know.

The three words that kill any consulting, coaching, or training gig.

The three words that kill any sale (B2B or B2C).

The three words that kill any career around a meeting table.

We recognize the vulnerability, powerlessness, and transparency in the “I don’t know” statement. And in the face of workplaces, organizations, and even communities, increasingly hostile to vulnerability, powerlessness, and transparency, “I don’t know” seems like a time waster.

Better to just bulldoze through and hope for the best.

Destigmatizing the “I don’t know” would go a long way toward normalizing the fact that there are legitimate things that we don’t know, legitimate information that we don’t have access to (or understanding of), and legitimate perspectives that we don’t acknowledge.

And, to be the appropriate role model, I’ll start:

I don’t know…

[Opinion] Would You Like a Side of Mediation with That?

Mediation and sales have several things in common:

  • They both involve establishing trust right away.
  • They both involve starting from a referral from one or more of the parties.
  • They both involve establishing a relationship between the two parties and the mediator/s.

The key place where sales and mediation differ is that a sale is usually closed: Either the salesperson gets the order and gets paid, or the prospect gets the salesperson to go away.

Mediation relies on both parties having the autonomy to walk away. Sales involves parties being pressured (whether lightly or heavily) into making a decision to “buy” or “walk-away.”

The big takeaway form all of this is that if your career is in mediation, learning where to put pressure on versus where to ensure autonomy will ensure that each participant has a satisfactory outcome.

And that you get paid.

Active listening is a huge driver for both sales and mediation.

If you aren’t listing to what your customer is saying that they want—or the parties in the dispute are saying that they want—you’ll wind up going home.

Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA

Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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