Did you know that you can tell more about a person from what they don’t say, than from what they do?
Often times people will tell us about who they are, but it’s rarely who they really are; more likely it’s the person that they would like to be, with the reality being somewhat different.
I may believe, for example, that I am a highly driven individual who strives for success. Yet, I find it hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning, and rarely follow through 100% on the things that I commit to. I may also be frequently late.
Are these the traits of a highly driven individual?
The problem with the stories people tell us is that we believe them. I may ignore the data that the person I have interviewed for the job arrived ten minutes late because of “traffic”, forgot her file and looked a little disheveled. If she sits there and tells me how she is extremely organised, and highly efficient and her CV looks great, then I tend to believe her. I don’t think to consider the fact that this type of person would’ve arrived early, organised and polished.
The data does not fit the description.
On the other side, listen carefully to the information your customers share with you, that are their likes and dislikes (in life as well as in business). These are your benchmarks for your interactions with them: they will tell you how they like to be served, the dos and the don’ts.
If a customer shares that they are frustrated with their profession because there is no demand for excellence, take note. This person expects excellence from you, and if you deliver, you will keep their custom forever.
Practice noticing what people don’t say to you, as much as what they do.
Choose your interactions with them based on this valuable data. Ignore it at your peril.