Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DAY THREE...It's not what you say that matters, it's what others hear...

As I’m delving in deeper to my ability to communicate clearly, I was reminded of something that happened to me a couple of years ago. If nothing else, it will make you laugh.

Wouldn’t you agree…there is nothing like a Krispy Kreme doughnut—especially when that red light is flashing? The light that lets everyone know there is a warm, gooey, sweet, intoxicating Krispy Kreme doughnut waiting for there—just for you.

Those sinful taste bud delights are the first thing to go when the dreaded four letter word rears its ugly head … D-I-E-T. Having lost 35 pounds and having managed to keep it off for three years, saboteurs like Krispy Kreme were not my usual stomping grounds.

However, I had just finished video-taping a “how to” and did it live and off the cuff and I was feeling pretty proud of myself. And the kids deserved them. I mean, no one has ever died from eating Krispy Kreme’s, right?

The aroma of fresh doughnuts. Wow. I think that smell must be a pheromone to me because it kind of makes me moan. It certainly makes me breathe heavy.

Back to the doughnuts. As I am studying the doughnuts and trying to justify buying more than just plain glazed doughnuts, a short, dark-haired man asks me what I’d like. I give him my order (a dozen glazed doughnuts) and he boxes them and brings them to the cash register.

He rings up my doughnuts and gives me the total and then he stares. Not just any stare, but a STARE. The kind that makes you think you have something hanging off your lip or mascara smeared under your eyes.

He asks me, “Are those real?”

Now, you can imagine my thoughts right about now. Actually, I had a few. The first was, “What? How dare he?!! You’ve got to be kidding” The second was “Wow, this guy has some nerve. To ask a woman he does not know, in public, if her breasts are real. Wow.” It was part admiration, part disbelief, part shock.

So, I showed my brilliance by saying the only thing you can say in this circumstance which was, “What?”

“Your eyelashes. Are they real?” he asks.

My eyelashes? You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

“Yes, they’re real.” I say, feeling like I’m in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

“Your husband. He is lucky man. Your eyelashes are beautiful.”

Now, you might be sitting there reading this thinking to yourself, “That’s funny. But what does it have to do with direct sales?”

Well, I did exactly what direct sales trainers will tell you not to do. I prejudged this man. He asked a question and I immediately assumed I knew what he was thinking. I did, however, do the right thing by asking another question so that he could clarify his original question. Lucky for him as he was within striking distance!

From this episode, I learned an important lesson. What people say isn’t always what you hear. What if I had assumed he was talking about my breasts and I became hostile towards him for his audacity? How embarrassing would that be (for him and for me) if he really only meant to compliment me?

Notice where you jump to conclusions or pre-judge meaning without asking another question to clarify your understanding of the conversation. It could completely change the outcome…

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