05 Mar Walk In Your Customers’ Shoes and Do These 3 Things Today!
Last week I attended a four-day class with two of my team members. Walking into the classroom on day one, I was reminded of what our students may feel before attending one of our classes. In the interest of being super transparent, here was some of the conversation I was having with myself, or out loud, in a couple of instances. Understand that I was excited about going, and yet, those old stories were creeping up on me.
“Am I going to get anything out of giving up four days? I’m sure I’ll get something out of it to use for High5. (Translation-I wasn’t expecting any personal benefit). I have a book with me if it gets boring.” WOW! Who is this person?
Being even more transparent, as soon as I got there and was in line to register, I wanted to fix their process. Then, I started laughing out loud, at myself, as I realized how close my thoughts were to the truths of many of our High5 students.
The unknown is scary for most people. When something is unknown, we create our own story about what it will be like because we must make it make sense. Depending on our story, sometimes that works in our favor. Often, though, it works against us. Any time we are out of that familiar comfort zone though, we are writing stories. It’s important to remember that the people who do business with us are also writing their own stories about us and what we offer. That’s why I recommend temporarily forgetting what you know so you can see and learn something new.
Find a way to simulate your customer’s experience. Even if it’s a parallel experience (a different product or service), you can learn something. Do the following three things to look at your product/process/sytem through new eyes to see what else is available. This is what I did for four days during the class, and there was immense value in it. If we look through the same lenses, we will see the same things. When we change the lens, change the perspective, new opportunities come into view.
Leave Your Prior Knowledge At The Door
Recently, I taught a 90-minute on-line workshop to a team. One of the 17 participants was very knowledgeable about our Self-Awareness topic. Unfortunately for her, she filtered everything through her prior knowledge because, as she said later, she helped write the book on it. I totally respect that, and yet, if I had spoken at her level, I would have left 16 others in a sea of confusion. If she had left her knowledge at the door, what new learning opportunities might have surfaced for her? I was headed down this same path at the beginning of my class, and I am grateful that I recognized it before the class started. I celebrate that!
After I was through the doors and sitting in my seat, I will readily admit that some things would come up in class that triggered a judgment or comparison (My old programming runs deep). Everyone does it all the time because it helps us make meaning of what is happening. I used that as an anchor for me to stay curious. For instance, I’d ask myself “Why did that trigger me and what can I learn from that?” This is powerful because those things that push our buttons are likely our greatest areas of growth. Other times I’d think “I wouldn’t do it that way” and then reframe it to “I wonder what would happen if I did it that way?” Can you feel the difference in the energy between those two questions? The first closes me off, and the second opens me up.
Participate Fully In The Process
When I’m training a class, the first thing I do is encourage my students to fully participate to get the most value from it. A core belief of mine is “I go first”. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do something that I haven’t done or am not willing to do. This is not a time to sit back and observe. It’s a time to be in it 100%. It is the experience that drives connection and makes it valuable. We can sit in the stands and observe the game of life, or we can jump in and experience it! Will you do it perfectly from the beginning? Of course not. That’s why it’s called learning and not perfection. We’ve got to be willing to crawl before we walk, and then when it’s time, we can run.
Take a new look at what you do and see what else is possible. Let me know what you find!
For the ultimate transformational experience for yourself or your business, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The quickest way to expand your perspective to see what else is possible is to attend our 3-day High5 Intensive and you can register for the next class here.