How to Hide From Your Family 101

You’re cooped up and trying to socially distance yourself. By now, you’ve heard all the do’s and don’t to keep yourself healthy and sane. You’re even practicing some of them.  So far, so good. However, there might come a time when things get worse, you might live with a family that does not cope well with stress. To put it another way, a family member or two could drive you crazy.

You might be sick of looking at your screen or getting irritated with your lack of progress doing jigsaw puzzles or bothered by annoying family members. Your virtual office might be a mess. Clean and organized are two words you don’t have in your vast vocabulary. Be honest, is your virtual office clean and organized? I’m not suggesting you go on a Kondo-izing rampage in your workspace. You just don’t want people to see you’re online in your bedroom.

Do you have the tools needed to effectively cope with irritating family members in your jail-like situation? In an era of social-distancing, a new and creative approach is needed to survive and thrive.

It’s time to hide from your family.

Here are three tried and true things you can do to stave off house-bound family members. Let’s assume you don’t have a room to use as your virtual office.

TIP #1 Buy a foldable privacy screen and put it behind you. Put a sign on the back of the screen that says “Danger, Radioactive Material Do NOT Enter”. You can buy a screen online. They come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and prices.

TIP #2 Stay connected. If your Internet connection is not reliable or is slow, buy an ethernet cable connection instead of relying on Wi-Fi. Ethernet cables come in different colors. You’ll be the envy of your family with your colorful cable connection.

TIP #3 If you’re worried about nosy family members eavesdropping or lurking outside your virtual office, purchase a white noise reduction machine. They have the capability to muffle annoying people sounds.

Send me an email if you have a tip or two to use to Hide From Your Family.

Next time, I’ll be discussing how introverts can make the most out of social-distancing networking.


Author of Critical Connections: The Step-by-Step Guide To Transforming Your Business Thru Referral Marketing.

What’s The Difference Between Transactional and Relationship Marketing?

What’s The Difference Between Transactional and Relational Marketing?

Let’s say you’re creating a marketing plan to sell garden hoses. Your marketing strategies and sales tactics are straightforward transactions. When you sell a product, your customer shops for price and options- length, thickness, type of material, etc.

There is little or no emotional involvement in the sale. The sale is a direct transaction using traditional sales techniques.

However, if you provide personal or professional services such as financial planning, tutoring, or any type of consulting, your marketing and sales tactics are relational, not transactional. Relational selling requires you to make a connection with potential clients or customer prior to making the sale. Relational selling is value driven, not price driven. You must assure potential clients or customers they are receiving a high-quality service delivered by a knowledgeable professional. In a relational model, there is emotional involvement in the sales process. Chances are that when you consider buying a  garden hose is sales process is not an emotionally-charged experience,

Think about the following:

  1. Do my marketing and sales efforts require transactional or relational strategies?
  2. If I’m marketing a professional service, what is the one key message I want my potential client to know?
  3. If I’m selling a product, what are the one or two most critical features and benefits of my product?

Keep in mind that marketing professional services is all about building and maintaining relationships with your clients and customers.


For more information about relationship and referral-based marketing, click HERE.

How Did You Hear About Me?

When someone registers online for one of my marketing workshops or signs up for business and marketing coaching, my registration form asks, “How did you hear about me or how did you find out about the workshop?” Many people say they found me on the web or they received an email about my workshop or consulting services. I’ve never been satisfied with that answer.

So, when I meet that person at my workshop or at the time of their initial coaching session, I ask, “Prior to looking on the web or receiving an email, how did you hear about me?”

You’d be surprised at some of the responses I received:

  • “One of your clients told me about you, so I looked you up on the web and registered for the workshop.”
  • “I heard you speak at a conference.”
  • “I met you at a networking event.”
  • “A colleague told me about your marketing book”*

If the person initially said they received an email, I ask, “Do you remember who sent you that email?” I know it sounds like common sense, but it seems like word-of-mouth is a major marketing tactic when it comes to attending a workshop or seeking coaching help. That’s telling me to forge ahead by attending networking events and conferences. It’s telling me to submit proposals for workshops seminars.

What does this mean for you?

1: Think carefully about how you word the “How did you hear about us’ part of your online registration or order form. You might consider building in a drop down menu so customers can indicate exactly how they heard about you. Don’t get to detailed. Be careful, you want the person to move seamlessly through the registration process and not get hung up on this step.

2. When you meet your customer/client in person or live, always ask follow up questions about how they heard about you.

3. Keep track of where your business comes from. This is common sense but you’d be surprised about how many small business owners and providers of personal and professional services don’t have a basic database of customers and prospects.

If you have an effective way to capture “How did you find out about me?” data, then you are one-step ahead of the marketing game.


 * Critical Connections-The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing

What is the Look Out Syndrome?

Tamara is a 29-year-old freelance destination-wedding planner. She left her job as an administrative assistant at a large event planning company to start her own business. During her time at the company, she made valuable contacts in the hospitality industry with hotel managers, caterers, travel agents, airline personnel, photographers, videographers, florists, bridal consultants, disc jockeys, bands, etc. She felt confident she could make it on her own.

When she started her business, Tamara did not fully realize that she had to develop trusting business relationships with the bride and groom and their respective parents and all of the vendors who would be providing the services.

She did not feel confident at the thought of working with all these people. She also felt uneasy thinking about working in overseas venues.

Tamara was fortunate and got a referral from a former colleague. This would be Tamara’s first client. When Tamara’s friend told her about the referral, Tamara’s brain went into overdrive and she felt nervous, to say the least. She remained in this stirred up state right up until the time she met face-to-face with the prospective client.

Her anxiety led to what I call the Look Out Syndrome. The Look Out Syndrome occurs when you are in a situation with another person and you focus your attention on theother person’s body language, facial expressions, or general demeanor instead of listening to what is being said. Often, your evaluation of these non-verbal cues is incorrect and usually negative. Most importantly, you imagine the other person is thinking negative thoughts about you.




Tamara fear of rejection was overwhelming. Not only was Tamara scanning for danger by looking out, she also questioned herself, “Will I get the sale?” “Am I qualified?” “What do they think of me?” Now more doubts about her confidence started creeping into her head. Tamara said to herself, “Is the look on the other person’s face saying he doesn’t want to work with me?” This is called negative self-talk. As a result, she didn’t hear most of what the prospective client wanted. Not good.

Here’s another way to look at the Look Out Syndrome:

I’m looking at you looking at me
I’m wondering what you’re thinking about me.

What a mess. When you experience The Look Out Syndrome and you’re not listening, you don’t say what you want to because you’re too busy trying to figure out what the other person is thinking. Can we attribute Tamara’s case of Looking Out to inexperience? Immaturity? No self-control? Probably none of these.

Tamara was scanning the prospective client so intensely that she asked the same question three times. Clearly, Tamara’s thinking brain was offline. She was in a reactive mode and her emotions took over.

What happened? The prospective client did not hire Tamara.

Tips to prevent the Look Out Syndrome

  1. Look at the other person, not into them. Focus on the color of their eyes, the color of their hair, or any other feature. Focusing on physical features will calm your brain so your thoughts stay focused in the present. Then there is no room to think what they’re thinking about you.
  1. Listen. This is probably the easiest thing in the world to say and the most difficult thing in the world to do. What is listening? How do you listen? How do you know if you’re being listened to? Look online for tutorials that teach listening skills for business people.
  1. Turn that frown upside down. I’m a big fan of faking it – to a point. Pretend to be brave when you’re anxious. Try it and you might feel more self-assured. Fake being interested in other people when you’re feeling low. See what happens to you.
  1. Take a timeout to calm yourself. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Communication, “. . . people stressed from work did not feel any more relaxed after they played video games or watched television. They often felt even worse.” It has been observed by some teachers of psychology and neuroscience, that if you’re feeling stirred up or reactive, it takes approximately 20 minutes of positive self-talk and breathing to get back into your thinking brain. In business situations, I generally leave the situation for a few minutes and take a restroom or coffee break. The short time away is enough for me to take a few deep breaths, screw on a smile, and resume my discussion.
  1. Think business at all times. Your job is to build business relationships, not make friends. You want customers or clients. If you focus on understanding and satisfying the business needs of customers and clients, you’ll be able to keep personal interests out of the equation. I’m not saying that you should skip informal small talk and jump into business talk. You need a way to break the ice and small talk in a good way to do it.
  2. Use a Cheater. Write an outline of key talking points before your meeting. Take notes and keep to your script (as best as possible). Don’t forget to breathe.

For more ideas on how to build business relationships, go to


Did You Ask a Good Question Today?

This is one of my favorite stories. Isidor Rabi (1898 – 1988) was a Polish-born American physicist and Nobel laureate. He was recognized in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. When asked if there were any significant influences on his life, he said, “My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child, “So? Did you learn anything in school today?” But, not my mother. “Izzy,” she would ask, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference – asking good questions – made me become a scientist.” (As quoted in “Great Minds Start with Questions” in Parents Magazine, September 1993).

Izzy’s mother got it. She understood that asking questions is about engaging in meaningful dialogue.

I wish I knew about Izzy and his mother when I started my first job after graduate school. One of the managers where I worked took me under his wing and gave me two pieces of advice I’ll never forget.

  1. During your first few months on the job, don’t impress the employees with how much you know. Don’t offer up solutions or suggestions. Just ask questions. Ask as many questions as you can to as many employees as you can.
  1. When you are walking around the office, always carry a yellow pad with you.

There are two reasons to do this. The first is that it would not look good to others to walk around the office empty-handed. After all, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” You need to appear as though you are doing something work-related. When you ask a question, surreptitiously write down what others said. Keep this list handy and use it as a reference when you would be in a position to answer questions.

From that point on, I never stopped asking questions.

Here’s a brief example of how to ask questions in a business situation. A customer asks you a question about your product or service or states a frustration. Instead of trying to answer the question or solve the problem, the very first thing you do is to take their question or their stated frustration, throw
it back to them, and ask for clarification. You might say, 
“What exactly do you mean?” “Tell me more about this.”
“Can you clarify your question?” Sometimes, people just want to be heard and are not looking for solutions. By asking questions, you’ll begin to engage in a dialogue.

Next time a customer asks a question or states a frustration, start asking questions.

There’s lots more tips and tactics to build your business in Critical Connections-The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing


Marketing – It’s Not What You Think

Ask ten people what their definition of marketing is and you’ll probably get eleven different answers. Ask your brother-in-law, the one with the MBA from Wharton, and you’ll most likely hear him define marketing using lots of professional jargon.

I found a website listing 72 different definitions of marketing. When I read some of these definitions, I thought about my clients trying to make sense of these definitions and struggling to create and implement a marketing campaign. If I’m dazed by these definitions, I could imagine what my clients might be feeling.

Before I present my definition of marketing (I hope mine can be added as #73 on the list), here’s what marketing isn’t:

  • Producing flyers, brochures, or any printed promotional material
  • Building a website
  • Tweeting, blogging, or posting on Facebook
  • Using public relations
  • Going to the grocery store

The promotional/communication tactics listed above are implemented after defining marketing goals, objectives, and strategies.

Most definitions of marketing focus on creating strategies and tactics to build a marketing plan to sell products. These marketing models are transactional.

To demonstrate key points of the transactional model, we’ll use selling a garden hose.

      • Customers have more than one purchasing option. They can buy a 6-foot hose or 10-foot hose.
      • It’s easy to sell value. The hose has a lifetime guaranty and comes with two types of nozzles, etc. What a deal
      • There’s little emotional involvement when considering buying a garden hose.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t get worked up or emotionally engaged when considering purchasing a garden hose.
      • Whether you’re online or visiting a retail store, traditional sales techniques are used to persuade you to purchase the hose. The salesperson and online product descriptions tout the features and benefits of the hose.

My marketing model is relational not transactional.  It focuses on building and maintaining vital business relationships before the sale.

Let’s use the example of a financial planner to demonstrate key points about the relational model.

The sale is consultative. Potential clients need to be educated on what a financial planner does and what benefit the client will receive from the planner’s services. Consequently, the consultative sales process takes time. Also, potential clients go online and do their homework prior to purchasing the services. They check out the financial planner’s credentials and any reviews. They also comparative shop, looking at other financial planners. Clearly, hiring a financial planner is not an impulse purchase.

  The financial planner provides one service. Of course, the delivery of the service is tailored to the unique needs of the client.

•  It’s a challenge to sell perceived value. Perceived value is the worth that a product or service has in the mind of the buyer of the financial planner’s service and ability to satisfy client needs. You pay for the financial planner’s knowledge, experience, insights, and skills, not just for the time spent working with you.

  • There is a high level of emotional involvement in a client’s decision to hire a financial planner. Potential clients might get ‘sticker shock’ when it comes time to discuss fees. Once again, the potential client needs time to make the decision to engage the services of the financial planner.
  • For the most part, financial planners depend on referral sources and word-of-mouth from current and former clients for business.

Let’s dive into my model of marketing. Plain and simple: marketing is about creating a care and feeding program to develop and sustain connections and relationships with those in a position to refer business to you and those who will directly purchase your services.

Strategic Relationships

There are two types of strategic relationships:

  1. Prospective and existing customers or clients
  2. Individuals who are in a position to refer customers or clients (referral sources) to you.

What do I mean by managing strategic relationships? First, let’s break down this definition.

Management. I use the term management to describe any activity you do to keep your marketing engine running. Whether you’re self-employed or own a small business, there are certain planning activities you have to do prior to initiating and maintaining relationships. This includes everything from compiling names for a newsletter to putting together timelines for the distribution of promotional information (online or in print).

Your job is to create, implement, and manage a plan that takes care of and feeds your strategic relationships.

Strategic. The word strategic describes something important and vital.  Certain relationships are vital and others are not. For example, you might have identified primary, secondary, and tertiary target groups or market segments. You might consider your primary target group as your vital group-the group who is most likely to refer customers or most likely to be your primary customer. This would be your primary strategic relationship.

Relationships. There are two goals involved in building and maintaining relationships. In my relational model, your first job is to build a relationship using methods such as sharing content via social media or your blog or attending events where you’re most likely to meet customer or referrers. Your second job is to delight customers or clients so much that they will return.

If you want to start a web-based business, don’t fool yourself into thinking that all you have to do is build a website, post content on Facebook (or other social media platforms), collect lots of followers on Twitter, blog your brains out, or send blast emails.  How can you develop meaningful strategic relationships this way?

Marketing is the management of strategic relationships. It’s a care and feeding program you create for those in a position to refer business to you and those customers who want to purchase your product or service.

In the next installment of Marketing – It’s Not What You Think, I’ll give you a real-life example of how I used marketing as the management of strategic relationships to sell a service.    

There’s lots more tips and tactics to build your business in Critical Connections-The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing

Here Comes the Jargon Police


In order to make the most out of reading this post, you’ll want to download  and print it. Why? I’ve included a fun exercise for you, so you’ll want to write down your answers.

Sometimes, I take on the role of a Jargon Police Officer. In this formidable position, I monitor my client’s and workshop participant’s use of jargon. Jargon includes all of the special words or expressions that are unique to a business, profession, or group and are difficult for others to understand. Jargon is “technical talk”.

I’m especially on guard when my marketing workshop participants use jargon:

  • On their website
  • On printed promotional or educational literature
  • When they give an elevator speech to a potential customer or referrer

When you use jargon, there is a chance that the person listening to you will not understand what you are saying. And chances are, that person is too polite to ask you, “What are you talking about?” This is not a good way to make a first, second or third impression.

However, there might be times when you want to use jargon. Whether you’re talking ‘shop’ with a colleague or giving a presentation to your peers, using jargon and technical terms makes sense. But, it’s still best to keep the use of jargon to a minimum, no matter what type of situation you’re in.

At a local networking event, I overheard (eavesdropped) a conversation between a psychotherapist and a lawyer. It seemed that the lawyer might have clients with emotional or relationship problems. Perfect match? Not quite. The therapist said to the lawyer, “I provide a solution-focused approach in counseling and therapy, drawing from a variety of tools such as hypnosis, NLP, EFT and EMDR”. The lawyer looked perplexed. He probably said to himself, “What the hell is this person talking about?” The jargon police would have had a field day with this therapist. I restrained myself and walked away.

Here’s the problem with jargon. We’ll use the psychotherapist talking to the lawyer as an example. As soon as the psychotherapist blurted out “…hypnosis, NLP, EFT, and EMDR”, the conversation shifted from talking about the needs of the lawyer…which turned the conversation into didactic teaching mode (the therapist would explain each of these therapeutic techniques), resulting in making the ‘conversation’ all about the therapist. This is not good.

When building a business relationship, it’s not all about you; it’s about making a connection with your customer by focusing on their needs. This therapist was too busy explaining what therapeutic methods she used and never made a personal connection with the lawyer.

As you move deeper into a conversation, and when the other person asks more probing questions, the chances of slipping into jargon mode are much greater.

Time to Test Your Use of Jargon

Here’s a chance to eliminate jargon from your vocabulary when talking to prospective or current customers.

Example of Jargon Used by a Management Consultant

 Read the example below of how to substitute common words or phrases for jargon. This example shows how easy it is to eliminate jargon from a management consultant’s vocabulary.


Here are 5 jargon words or phrases unique to a management consultant’s industry or business.

Substitute a non-technical, common word or phrase for each jargon word or phrase from the left column.

Brand equity Name recognition that might result in increased sales
Out of the box Creative thinking
Above board To be honest and open
Scope creep A project that expands beyond it’s original goal
Pain point A critical consumer need

 Your Jargon Buster Exercise

List 5 jargon words or phrases unique to your business or industry

Take each word or phrase from the left column and substitute a non-technical, common word or phase


 What You Learned

List three things you learned from the Jargon Buster Exercise:

  1. _______________________________________________________________
  2. _______________________________________________________________
  3. _______________________________________________________________

Three Key Points To Know About Using Jargon

  1. There is a time and place to use jargon. When you’re talking ‘shop’ with a colleague or giving a presentation to your peers, using jargon and technical terms makes sense.
  2. A potential customer can’t get to know you if you’re conversation is riddled with jargon.
  3. Check your website, promotional literature for jargon and change the jargon to common words or phrases.


There’s lots more tips and tactics to build your business in Critical Connections-The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing

Business Relationship Destroyer #3: Making Up Stories

In the last two episodes of How to Destroy a Business Relationships, I talked about focusing on negative communication and not taking things personally. Today’s destroyer rears its ugly head when you try to guess what the other person is thinking. Destroyer #3 occurs when you make up stories about your customer or yourself. Every one of us is guilty when it comes to interpreting customers or what anyone says.

I was coaching Andy, a sole proprietor of a tax preparation and accounting service. Andy hung out his shingle one year prior to our meeting. He told me how much he appreciated the help I gave him and valued our time together. One theme we discussed was how to handle his irregular cash flow. His work was seasonal and cash pretty much dried up after tax season.

Our coaching sessions were held every other week. After each session, I would email Andy his bill. Our first two sessions were in January. Andy paid me at the end of January for the two sessions. The same thing happened in February. In March and early April, we met twice. I emailed my bill after each of the March and April sessions. By late April, I had not received a check from Andy.

Andy canceled his next session via email and wrote that he had to stop for a while He did not tell me why. Right before I received the email, I said to myself I would not see him until his bill was paid. I wondered what was going on. Why wouldn’t he pay? Why did he quit? So, I made up a story or two in my head about why Andy didn’t pay. After a few days of not getting a check in the mail and after making up some more stories about why he would not pay, I decided to email Andy, attach a copy of the bill, and ask him what was going on. I did not receive a reply. So, I made up more stories. “Maybe he didn’t value our work?”

A week later, I called him and left a message to call me. I was polite and asked him to return my call. No response. It was now the first week in May, when Andy called back. He apologized for not getting back to me. He said he was completely overwhelmed during tax season. He sent me a check the next week for the full amount.

You are emotionally and financially invested in making your business succeed. You want to make the right decisions in order for your business to grow. It is easy to fall into the trap of interpreting what customers say when you are feeling vulnerable or anxious.

Click here to learn  how to prevent yourself from destroying a business relationship.

Back to the Future

I found this amazing insight on ethics and interpersonal relationships from the Talmud written more than 1,900 years ago.

A wise man does not speak before one who is greater than him in wisdom or in  years; he does not interrupt the words of his fellow; he does not rush to answer; he asks what is relevant to the subject matter and replies to the point; he speaks of first things first and of last things last; concerning that which he has not heard,  he says, “I have not heard,” and he acknowledges the truth.

When I first read this, I thought whoever wrote it must have been a salesman or a great business coach. This short paragraph summarized the most important components of building business relationships. For me, the phrase, “A wise man does not speak before one who is greater than him in wisdom or in years” is more about wisdom than age. Think about it. If you’re meeting with potential referrers or prospective customers, who have been working in their business for many years, they are going to know more about their business than you.

Many veteran business owners and managers are keepers of the oral history of their business and have valuable information about their industry or profession. Don’t dismiss these business veterans as dinosaurs. You and I have plenty to learn from these folks. They are wiser in many ways. And, in order to take advantage of their wisdom, you have to learn how to listen. Yes, listen, with a capital L. (Read more about listening in my blog Giving Advice vs. Listening)

The second part, “he does not interrupt the words of his fellow” is something that does not come easily to some people. I’ve always wanted to record a video of my family – my wife, my two adult children, and two of my wife’s adult children – sitting around the dinner table. Everyone is talking at the same time. Interruptions are frequent. The introverted children can’t seem to get a word in edgewise. To say the least, it’s chaotic and frustrating for me, even though I talk a lot and interrupt. It seems like everyone has the most important thing in the world to share.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re listening to a customer and at some point in the conversation, you can’t wait to say something in response to what they are saying. Chances are, at some time during the conversation, you’ll interrupt the other person. This conversation then devolves into two monologues – yours and theirs. And, to make things worse, in order to be heard, one of you might talk over the other.

The next phrase states, “He does not rush to answer”. Our brain is wired to have the ability to solve complex problems. We’ve become so good at problem-solving it comes naturally to us. Think about a time when a friend or relative came to you complaining about a work problem. Did you rush to try and the fix the problem?

When I first started my consulting business, I would be talking with a client about a marketing challenge, and I’d be saying to myself, “I’ve heard this problem a hundred times and I have plenty of fixes”. I was rushing to answer and solve the problem instead of building the relationship and probing deeper to find the root cause of the problem or hearing the client’s own insight to solve the problem.

The following phrase says, “He asks what is relevant to the subject matter and replies to the point”. When you are in the midst of a dialogue with a customer or referrer, you want to keep your comments brief and to the point. You ideally want to keep the customers focused on their needs as much as you can. Remember, it’s not about you! Sometimes, when I’m with a prospect, I lapse into, what my wife calls, “my strident mode”. I sound like I’m dogmatic in the way I come across. When I feel myself getting stirred up, I tell myself to return to the land of listening.

“He speaks of first things first and of last things last.” The goal of your initial conversation with prospects is to build a relationship. You don’t want to do what car salesmen do. When you walk into the car showroom, the salesman would hook you and start closing the sale by asking, “What color car are you looking for?” This tactic might work for selling cars. Is this any way to build a business relationship? I don’t think so.

And finally, the phrase “concerning that which he has not heard, he says, ‘I have not heard,’ and he acknowledges the truth”. Do you know how hard it is to answer a question by saying, “I don’t know” or “I’ve never heard of this”? I think I have all the answers. After all, I’m the “subject matter expert”. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” Will it tarnish your credibility? Nope. Will it make you more authentic? Yes.


There’s lots more tips and tactics to build your business in Critical Connections-The Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Business Through Referral Marketing


Business Relationship Destroyer #2: Taking Things Personally

I had an appointment with a new coaching client at 1:00 p.m. at my office. The client confirmed his appointment via email the day before. At 1:00 p.m. he was not there; at 1:15 p.m. he was not there. At 1:25 p.m. I called his cell phone. The call went directly into voice mail. By the way, this incident took place before the advent of text messaging.

I said to myself, “This guy is not coming. What did I say to him that would make him change his mind about meeting me? I ruminated about all possible things I said to turn him off. Emotionally, I beat myself up good.

So, what happened next? To my surprise, he arrived at 1:30 p.m. I wrote down the wrong time in my calendar. I was exhausted after the session and my exhaustion was not based on what we accomplished. I was quick to blame myself for things that had nothing to do with me.

If you read self-help books that give advice on how not to take things personally, the usual clichéd suggestion is: “Don’t take things personally!” This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. How do you do that? We are not computers that can be instantaneously switched off so we don’t take things personally.

I’m not suggesting that you drop everything and make an appointment with a psychotherapist to explore why you take things personally. I am suggesting that you consider the following:

  1. Acknowledge that some part of you does take things personally. A part of you – not all of you. This part of you is not all encompassing.
  1. The part of you that takes things personally is not necessarily bad. It’s not a deficit in your personality.
  1. There are other parts of you that are confident, compassionate, and accepting. Keep these parts in mind.


For more tips on how to build profitable business relationships, read Critical Connections.