A good business relationship whether it is buyer/seller or manager/employee is based on the assumption that both parties have an interest in doing things to accomplish the same goal. The first step in persuading someone to do what you want or need them to do is to establish and Adult-to-Adult relationship with the other person.
Every individual has three ego states from which they may communicate: Parent, Adult, Child.
The Parent ego state is the “recording” of how the authority figures when you were growing up communicated. The Parent ego state has two components and will be your natural style depending upon your personal experiences as a child:
You would have heard the Critical Parent say this: “What is wrong with you? Can’t you once sit at the table without spilling your milk?”
You would have heard the Nurturing Parent say this: “Don’t cry over spilled milk, let’s clean it up together.”
The Adult ego state is a reality-based, well-intentioned and mutually advantageous communication style.
The Child ego state includes how you felt, your instincts, intuition, and sense of physical self during the first five years of your life. The Child ego state is in control when you make emotionally based decisions.
Sometimes, other people can trigger a “Child” response in us. We must understand that the Child ego state has no place in business relationships. When communicating with customers, peers or employees, 70% of what we say should come from the Nurturing Parent, and the remaining 30% should come from your Adult ego state.
To put things into better perspective:
“The Child wants to buy, the Adult makes the decision, and the Parent gives permission.”
The Adult ego state is also the only one that:
- Is not afraid of taking risks.
- Does not need approval before making a decision.
- Knows that they don’t always have to win to feel successful.
- Expects equal business stature in business relationships.
- Does not have to blame failure on something or someone else.
- Does not sacrifice self-esteem.
- Does not feel manipulated.
- Does not play games.
“Sandler Rule: Leave Your Child In The Car”
Depending on your life experiences, it may take some time to retrain the “voices in your head” and practice the skills to bring your Adult ego state into the business relationship. Adults make effective decisions based on facts and not emotions, so learn to leave your Child out of your professional engagements.
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Susan Powers is a Partner at PEAK Sales Performance, a Sandler Training franchise in Connecticut. She is dynamic corporate trainer and coveted public speaker committed to boosting your sales skills, enhancing your leadership qualities and refining your customer service operations.