One of the 13 decisions I made early on in my life was to never blame anyone for anything. Ever. That means taking 100% responsibility for EVERYTHING. Even if someone “wrongs” me, it was my fault for not setting better expectations, not creating a situation where I had as much control as I should have, or simply choosing to rely on the wrong person.
While nothing I’m saying is really controversial, most people have a silent objection. That silent objection is articulated something like this: “But that means I’m letting the person who was ‘wrong’ off the hook, which is NOT FAIR.”
Not true at all. I discuss how this affects your relationship with clients and prospects in this week’s blog post and short video, which you can watch below or just scroll down and keep reading.
This problem is this. When you blame others,
YOU GIVE THEM CONTROL.
If you view it from the standpoint of ‘how can I handle this differently next time,’ you are in control. If you are blaming someone else, you’ve given them control and you are the helpless victim. Let’s look at how this applies to building relationships with clients and prospects.
I follow this thought process in everything I do, and particularly with clients and prospects. Despite the many great reasons above for never blaming anyone, there are some really good reasons to keep this in mind when dealing with clients and prospects.
1)Any time someone feels “blamed”, right or wrong, it is sending the relationship downhill.
2)When you start blaming clients and prospects, you are losing control of your business.
3)When you are constantly looking for how YOU can do things better, you are constantly improving your business.
I had a situation the other day with one of my highest paying clients. We had a meeting on the calendar and
the time on my calendar was two hours later than he believed the meeting was. This ended up being a time zone misunderstanding, however, nobody at my company did anything “wrong.” We did not provide any incorrect information and we did do an adequate amount of confirmation and validation. However, I did apologize and indicate that I will provide additional clarity next time. Now, we provide more time zone detail in our confirmations. Stronger business processes.
If there is one thing I could communicate to the world, it would be that when you blame others, you are simply giving away your control to them. If you blame clients and prospects for things that don’t go the way you want, you’ve given THEM control of your business and removed your control. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs get caught in that trap. Never go there.
When you are looking at how YOU can improve a situation, you are keeping control of it and making everything in your business better and of higher quality. If you are putting things in place that actually prevent or deal with the “bad things” that clients or prospects do, you are building a business that is rock solid and stronger than your competitors’.
What Can I Do About It?
1)Just change the way you think about everything to be view every situation from the standpoint of “how could have handled this situation differently?” Just thinking that way empowers you in a huge way.
2)When there is a situation where something didn’t go the way you both expected, find a way to respond and use language that clearly outlines what happened and what YOU are going to do to fix it. This shows that you take responsibility and that you really CARE about your clients’ success and are willing to take action.
3)Every time something doesn’t go the way you want it to, make it a learning experience, and incorporate the learnings into your processes and procedures. This builds your business and makes everything you do higher quality.
As a side note, this mentality is very freeing. It opens you up to be calmer, more successful and in control of your business. Apply it to your life, too.
Let me know what you think. Comment below and let me know what changes you could make that would put you more in control of your business?