THE BEST COMMUNICATION IMPROVES THE “GAME” OF LOVING LIFE & LIVING LOVE.

I was sitting in an airport on my way back from Atlanta after several hours of delays due to this year’s wintery FREEZE.  I was beginning to get kind of bored from just reading.   I started to eavesdrop on some nearby conversations…  I realized by many of the varying topics – that REAL-LIFE conversations can be as informatively interesting as surfing the net, reading a book or watching a good documentary.

It just so happens that our team (PERKA) is always working hard at steadily improving our ability to communicate – so that we can “know” more, be more aware, to be able to use our individual, collective and combined awareness through a power of attention and focus on details.   We consciously chose to practice this; to not just “be” better for each other, or to “make” things better for clients but to intentionally work to “serve” others selflessly and sincerely more.  By having more than one of “us” involved in this process it is revealing that it is easier to be “selfless” – without “EGO” …  and work towards our primary team objective of seeking the best, most serving, STRESS FREE solution for the client and us as teammates!

From a practice of working on “listening” skills through “eaves dropping”, …  I was able to re-affirm 3 very important factors about collaboration and cooperating through effective communication.

  1. HEARING CLEARLY: I first “listened” to a young man talking to his wife on the phone about him going to have to quite regrettably miss their all but guaranteed family dinner that Friday evening…  you could tell from his tone and choice of words he was disappointed and apologetic.  He then had his daughter join in on another phone to be part of the conversation, so he could share his regrets and love to her.  The fact that they were on two phones on the other end now, seemed to make it hard for him to hear as you could see his frustration rise in an inability to understand his wife and daughter and to properly assimilate their responses with ease…  There were many requests for clarification and you could almost sense the two on other end also losing their thresholds for patience and communicating more.  It became evident the effect on being able to physically hear well and understand was so fundamentally important.
  2. EMPATHIZING WITH PRESENCE: Then I “scrolled” my hearing to focus on a pair of young men maybe in their late 30’s, early 40’s… (For me that’s young ok?).  They were trading stories about how much travelling they were each doing.   How they were racking up air miles going to various cities in the U.S. and to even towns and villages in other countries!  They lamented some at how they spent 2 days traveling, 3 days in office and 2 days at home almost every week of the year!  Yet the gist of their conversation was on the fact that they just HAD to see people.  And they recognized and valued that process.   Whether it be their clients, their suppliers, their teammates or even colleagues from other industries.  They said and agreed that they just could not get their FULL message out – without truly HEARING the voices, SEEING the eyes and FEELING the emotions and the body language from their client’s… especially as it related to their true needs, wants, desires and even dreams.  The phone, emails, texts, etc. could only bring them so far.  Not to mention the sometimes difficulty in hearing properly over the phone or “reading” the right emotion in a written word.  The words have power — but they were amplified, solidified, clarified and got more “results” by and with the FACE TO FACE visits!  With recent trends towards less of this happening, it was quite refreshing to hear this coming, ever so randomly, from two unrelated individuals in unrelated industries, in an airport no less.  And they were YOUNG! (In my eyes!!)
  3. REPEAT WITH VARIETY AND RESPECT (AND LOVE): After that conversation ended due to a much-awaited boarding call …  I got up, boarded and took my seat on the plane.  I was returning with my wife, from some R & R time in sunny Florida where I like to free myself from the daily grind to “think” – be “creative” and plan things out.   It’s part of my intention to periodically “keep the axe sharp” so to speak.   That way when I go back to “chopping wood” – it will be more effective and require less effort.  

After we took off and reached our cruising altitude I got to “eavesdrop” on an elderly couple … actually not that elderly as they were maybe about 7 years and 4 months older than I and sounded to be recently retired.  They were delightful to listen to.  BOTH were genuinely respectful of each other.  They did not “talk” over each other…  both were patient to wait till the other was fully heard.  It was a bit noisy in the cabin of course…  so, they tried to speak loud enough to be heard – but not too loud to broadcast their conversation.   Lucky for me I was close enough. Notwithstanding – they both took turns to repeat what the other was saying or asking for clarification to be sure they understood and to confirm that the other was heard.  They did it gently, with kindness, patience and an obvious total respect and LOVE for each other.  I could FEEL that sentiment flowing back and forth.  They seemed to be reminiscing too of some of their past and you could hear them even apologize for certain things they may have done or not done at some time or another.   Yet, the other would acknowledge it with a chuckle of rekindling a memory and say it was “all good” and part of their journey together.   This immediately reminded me of an old African proverb that says people who love each other do not dwell on each other’s mistakes…  And so, ideally, in that moment, that said to me that the pinnacle of great communication is to listen and hear another with so much empathy it resembles and behaves like LOVE!  (I did also hear, while we were deplaning, someone say to them how they looked so “adorable” together.   The woman quite proudly said – “well that’s what 50 years of DATING each other can get you… constant wind beneath my wings”.   Hmmm now that was something really interesting to ponder on.  Watch for a future blog on that!)

And one never knows what they can “learn” from being “divinely” delayed and waiting around in an airport!

May we be so lucky to always have wind beneath our wings,

Martial Thevenot

PRICE IS TOO HIGH? Price is too much? Overpriced?

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How can that be?  They are the same model…  or they are the same size.  Or it’s for the same service.   They are both the same thing…  or is it?  How can there be such a price difference?  That price is way too high?  OR IS IT?

While it may not be so “obvious”,  some suppliers may indeed have difference costs of doing business, more insurance, more levels of quality assurance, better service protocols, different values of their overhead – or even just different markup percentages as per their calculations for what they need to stay in business, let alone prosper some.

When all is said and done however — one really CAN NOT get SOMETHING for NOTHING.  There is a natural law of business balance that will always be maintained.   At least over time.

If you are into “WIN-LOSE” deals – then the game becomes one of trying to (consciously or not) “outwit”, if not even “fool” the other into LOSING and you winning?   Though less and less these days – it is a “game” that still gets played.

All too often however, it is played at the detriment of BOTH parties.  If you “take from another” to advance your agenda, you are definitely in a competitive mode —  and, inevitably, a time will come when either the cards will be reversed, or sooner yet, even the one you contracted with – may just not be able to (satisfactorily) fulfill his/her obligation or promise.   And  then, NOBODY wins.   This is not naive.  It’s part of our natural laws.  The Golden Rule.  What we sow we reap.  What goes around comes around.

If one is of a CREATIVE perspective – then it’s more about COLLABORATING TO FIND THE BEST SOLUTION for the product or service need, with a WIN-WIN agenda; while staying within the allowed resources (funds available), and also taking into account as much of a “longer” term perspective as one can.  Cost over time must be part of the initial cost! 

For example, cost/value changes like: after the sale/service maintenance costs, the appreciation or depreciation in value of the asset, the actual use value (which may not be quantifiable per se), the profit from use value if a business of any kind, any future “changes” costs, insurance costs, “recovery costs”, etc., etc.   If you don’t do, even a bit, of that exercise analysis – you may very well be in for some fairly large “ADD ON” costs in the future — and those are inevitably and effectively PART OF YOUR (accrual) COST “TODAY”!

Over and above those considerations, one must be as sure as one can be that the comparison of quality, features, benefits, between your choices, are indeed “apples to apples”!!!  It’s easy to say that yes – this 4 wheel drive pick up is $25,000$. And that 4 wheel drive pick up is $27,000, so I’ll buy this one.   But are they really the same?

With regards to a building:  Is a 40 x 60 building going to be the same price regardless of what it’s made of?  How it’s made?  For what it’s made for,  or even by who it’s made? etc.?

There really are dozens, if not hundreds, of “options”, and “features”, and “benefits” that you can put in, or out, of a building package (initial) price offer.  And in each of these they may, or may not, be a SERVING benefit for you.   If you don’t need to have enduring strength to withstand the wrath of our sometimes harried climate conditions – then maybe you don’t have to have that pre-built in and therefore pay for it!  If you don’t need to have things designed in to make life easier and quicker for you or your builder when you install, refine, modify, or even later upgrade, retrofit or remodel, then why have those features priced in now?  These can be the very reason why the prices differ.

Furthermore, do you know the value or even the potential VALUE that each special feature has?  If no, is it therefore really MORE EXPENSIVE?  What are you comparing?   What if certain options can actually save you hours and hours of time in install?  What if it saves you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in extra materials, or hired hours; – or what if they can save you hundreds if not thousands in energy costs?  Making it less costly a bit later on!??  What if it saves you unnerving, debilitating stress, unfathomable worry and even heart ache!  What price do you put on that?

This is not to say all suppliers or service people will not have YOUR overall best interests at heart.  From experience one can say that at least half will, — maybe even 75% if you are optimistic!  But the challenge then is which 50 or 75%?   How will you know? How can you tell? 

Just because the representative is happy, sincere, polite and kind (which is not always the case anyway) — does that make the product or support the ONE FOR YOU?  There is POWER in education… and there is even MORE POWER in using the “education/information”…

One of the BEST ways to get VALUE for your hard earned money and time — as well as peace of mind — is education… information.    It almost always is worth the investment of your time.   Be an informed purchaser.

And, if you can find it, it’s even better if you have a TEAM you can trust, who has experience, is passionate about their vocation, loves to do what they do and is sincere about being of selfless service.

And as a bonus, if you do have that kind of support – that will surely make a huge difference in your overall stress level and well being —- now, how much is that worth?

Yes, BE informed!

Cheers,

ICS

 

 

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