Oh. Stop. Please. Are we implying that because it is so important to have a quick response, we rush an answer? Versus thinking things through?
Especially in Today’s digitally-transforming, Industry40 environments???
A rushed response to issues – rather than professional hesitation – signals to colleagues and clients that:
- We have other, more important things to do. And we want to get their “thing” off our “To Do” list. ASAP. Which translates into: “Mr. Client or Ms. Colleague, you are not important enough for me to put in the time to determine the best solution for your issue.”
- Or, we love being the company Know-It-All and enjoy Always Being Right. Even when better options are available by pausing, airing issues and collaborating. Either way, in our minds, everything always is All About Us. Neither the clients. Nor the colleagues.
- Then again, our training (and there always is training) turns us into one of Pavlov’s Dogs. Especially when our audience makes us uncomfortable, like when sales people present to STEM professionals (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). We are perfectly on-script and, therefore, not in the moment. And if our script does not match the pace and cadence of the professional conversation going on, just what is our next move?
When we give ourselves permission for professional hesitation, or pausing for the situational cause, the sound of silence can be golden.
- Why? Because for starters, our pause signals that our colleagues and clients introduce a significant issue to the business table. As a result, everyone seated around the table might benefit from taking time to think things through, more carefully. More collaboratively. More holistically. Your professional hesitation makes others feel more important.
- Also, by stopping to think about the significance of issues, we give our brains more time to sift through the files in our heads. Consequently, we make connections to information which represents new solutions to Yesterday’s problems. Or a new spin for Today’s customer retention conundrums.
- Finally, our hesitation gives us the opportunity to admit that we do not know the “right” answer at this time. In so doing, we give others permission to admit the same. And guess what happens when we collectively decide to deep-dive into problem-solving on behalf of better serving our customers?
Does the concept of professional hesitation make you professionally uncomfortable? Because it should.
The level of complexity involved in today’s business decision making makes Yesterday’s solutions outdated and Today’s answers transient. Creating solutions is like continuously trying to hit a moving target, isn’t it?
That scenario means call scripts, sales training, customer service training and designs just may require greater flexibility. Deployed by individuals hired for their critical thinking skills and ability to sit back and have a think, before rushing to a conclusion.
Make the time for professional hesitation. Because enhanced customer success for customer retention is the goal. Consider the value of each client’s experience when we take the time to think things through, in better serving each other.
Sometimes all it takes is a small step. However, that first step forward seems like moving light years beyond where you are right now. Together, let’s move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.