: Looking From a Clean Slate
Some days I receive as many as five telemarketing calls. How about you? I have attempted various responses and degrees of politeness (or I should say impoliteness) in responding to "those callers." I often come away from the call feeling pressured or irritated. Recently I mastered a call when, quite by accident, I began processing it as if I was handling my In-box. Can the two magic questions finally be a habit - What is it? What is my Next Action?
When the caller asked, "Is Martha Ringer at home?" I asked, "What is it?" I then asked in an innocent voice, "Is this a sales call?" My response was neutral, versus trying to sidestep the caller. (Sound familiar to processing your In-box and coming across something you are tempted to set aside?)
To my amazement, the caller responded with a simple, "yes" and not the usual scripted monologue.
I was on a roll so I quickly asked myself, "What is my next action?" The perfect next action came forward. As if I was putting it in my Hold and Review Folder, I asked: "Could you please call back another time?" The person responded, yes, thanked me, and hung up.
I was speechless. My emotional reaction was derailed by two simple questions. I was calm and the slate was clean.
I was ready to take on all the telemarketers at that point. And I got my chance just five minutes later. I heard the voice ask: "Is Martha Ringer at home?" Inside I told myself that I knew exactly what to do here. (Was I in for a surprise?) I asked in my neutral, fun voice: "Is this a sales call?" He responded, yes, but with hesitation. I was about to ask my new fabulous question when something stopped me. I realized I couldn't decide my next action until I had more information, so I asked him to go on. He was calling for a friend of mine to let me know about his play that was opening in Hollywood. I would have missed out if I had chosen to not be open and hear more information from a "clean slate" before deciding my next action. (Have you ever noticed reading email or processing your In-box how you try to decide what to do before even looking at the information?)
Try reading your e-mail or In-box with that same fresh clean approach, not looking at the title or the sender until you have opened it. For me, it reduces the time of second-guessing and trying to control my In-box. It's just next, next, next - I simply look at each new piece of information before I try to decide. It's keeping me calm, present, and focused. And, it's more fun when the surprise element is back in the equation; not to mention the time it saves.
Playing as a member of the Clean Slate Club offers unlimited mileage.
Happy playing in the In-box,