Over the years I have done many different things for money. Grounds Keeper, Facilities Maintenance (Fancy words for cleaning up), Cook, Electronics Technician, Quality Assurance, Recruiter, Operations Manager, General Manager, Bartender,Bouncer, Business Owner, and Sales.
I am grateful for all my experiences, I learned many things about myself, about people, and about life in each and every one of them.
I am particularly blessed to have been a sales person multiple times in my life, and to have had the opportunity to grow to appreciate and even delight in the role of sales. No other occupation has helped me more than Sales. Specifically, Sales Manager and Sales Coach.
I was good at sales, and I made good money. So naturally I was offered the opportunity to be Sales Manager, and that was when my education began.
My responsibility was to help others do what I had done. In my particular organization I did not have my own book of business AND I was compensated on growth. Basically I my success or lack was completely dependent on the performance of those people I worked with, and every year it started over.
This is where I learned a life lesson that had the greatest impact on my life.
You see every day I listened to sales people who had been told NO, treated poorly, accused of being manipulative, unethical, dismissed, and some times personal attacked simply because they had tried to talk to the wrong person at the wrong time; and it was my responsibility to help them make sense of it all and continue to try.
I knew all these people well.
Very well. I knew their personal hopes and dreams, what motivated them, and their personal struggles, fears, and doubts. Every time I heard one of their stories, some of the things that had been said to them …
I KNEW it was not a true reflection of who those people were.
One day, while working with one of the best people I ever worked with, a young lady that I had hired years before as a receptionist right out of high school, words just began to flow out of my mouth in a rambling stream of consciousness. Basically this is what I said…
“Its not about you! The foul words, the dismissals, the dismissive treatment … NONE of that is about you. People lied to you or about you. Yelled at you and called you names. And NONE of that is about the person I KNOW! You are non of those things! I have know you over ten years and I KNOW who you ARE, and its not those things.”
“It is about them. They had a bad day. They need to accomplish their goals, their needs, their wants. The words that people speak and the actions they take, they are a reflection of where they are. Most people do not go out of their way to injure or damage a casual or professional acquaintance. People are too DAMN selfish for that.”
I wish I could write that I am able to live that daily. I can not. But I can tell you….
I rarely have the thought “Why would Bob do that to me?”, anymore.
Over the years I have grown in this area. I try to live out of being the best healthiest me I can be …
And from there I hope I, at least, don’t damage those around me.