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We all make mistakes from time to time.   Learning from them and not making the same mistake twice teaches us to avoid these mistakes.

How do you look at your tasks at hand and do you make any of these mistakes?

Not Placing Value on a Task

We prioritize our tasks and occasionally certain tasks are looked at as not valuable.  We scratch them off our list or simply place little effort into them.  They should all be looked at as important as they more than likely are important to others.

If someone assigns or asks you to take care of a task, you have the choice to decline, execute as best you can or just go through the motions.  When you do not offer your best, and the task is not successful, it could cost you credibility, a relationship or the sale.

I do recall having lunch with a client who we have done business with a few years.   We had a proposal on the table and when we were scheduling lunch there was some discussion about changes to the proposal.   During  lunch, the client asked for a copy of the revised proposal.   My mistake.   It was a rare occasion where I was not prepared.   I put value on the relationship and lunch.   I figured the revised proposal could be sent afterwards and handled in a separate discussion.   The client, however, valued the proposal and was surprised I did not have it with me.   Lesson learned. (Good news they approved the revised proposal)

Making Assumptions

We make a lot of assumptions and it is Okay when they are correct.  It might cost us business and future opportunities if we are wrong.

A good practice when we have information and we start making assumptions, is to ask questions.   Experience has taught me it typically takes three to five questions to actually get to the facts and to the root of the situation.

Some people do not like this practice.  I have had others in meetings claim they are the prospect/client and they get to ask the questions.   So I reply “Why are you the only one who gets to ask questions?”

It is a balance of making assumptions, not letting experience taint your thoughts, gathering the facts and making a timely decision.  Communication is one of those tough things we do all the time and we think we understand when some times we do not.   Ask questions, dig a little deeper to gain knowledge and then make a decision.

Being Overconfident

It is good to demonstrate you are confident and to carry yourself well.   Remember to be humble and grateful.   Say thank you to those around you who are part of your Team and those who have helped you along the way.

When someone is overconfident they can appear arrogant.  Avoid being this person.

Treat others with respect and remember to be courteous when answering questions that you know all too well.   Be open to hearing their ideas and suggestions as you may learn something new.

Know your subject matter and have your information and answers ready.   Always make the other person feel comfortable in your communications.

Ask yourself:  “Do you want to always be the genius in the room?”  Be the genius maker in the room.   That is what being confident looks like.   Leaders teach others to be leaders.

This week’s topic was inspired by Kevin A Thompson:  goo.gl/zzHlgi

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