As our business culture continues to change and become less and less people-focused with the use of the internet and cell phones, face to face interactions are becoming increasingly pivotal to our success. If you aren’t sufficiently prepared and equipped, your chances of thriving in a room full of Sharks is severely compromised. Do you think you have what it takes to keep from being their personal chum? Today you will learn how to lull any Shark into a comfort so they don’t even realize that the blood in the water is theirs!
To understand how to defeat a Shark we have to understand what makes us fail in their presence. There are primarily two reasons.
The first mistake is the most common. This happens when you try and overpower or make yourself bigger than the other Sharks by talking louder, talking over or employing any maneuver that publicly tries to shame or humiliate the other Sharks. Ask yourself a question, “Who is my best friend and more importantly, why?” The simple answer is that their actions showed you they were solid, reliable and we feel a sense of safety, of being known. We all instinctively pull away and become guarded around any person who makes it all about them. The consequence of making it all about you is that the brightest Shark now knows you’re the weakest! The one trying to be the biggest is synonymous with the schoolyard bully. While the bully was scary when we were younger, as adults we all know that it only takes the smallest of pricks to pop his or her balloon.
The other most common mistake is feeling insecure. How often have you found yourself questioning whether you even belong? This is common for us all and when we are stuck in this shame state, our internal thoughts and questions are so negative we become certain every Shark can see right through us. These thoughts and feelings lead us to avoid direct contact, put off communications, meetings, sharing information, anything that we think might expose ourselves to possibly being found out. We are convinced she will know we are a fraud so we decide, “what’s the point, why should I even try? I can’t ever be like her!” Or the most common phrase I hear from even my most successful clients, “I feel like I don’t deserve it!”
To overcome these common mistakes employ this straight forward 5 step process instead.
Step one actually takes place before you even enter the room. The old adage holds true for a reason, It’s TRUE! You become who you associate with. If you can’t find quality people around you then you need to borrow some. Go find a Shark you want to emulate or find an expert to teach you how to overcome your feelings of insecurity. The internet is a great place to start. Sharks like Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban, Tony Robbins, Oprah…the list is endless. There are thousands of Sharks prowling the waters of the internet. Consume everything they say and do, watch them, become them in your own version. If you have a weakness in a specific area then hire an expert in that area to teach you. Studies show visual learning or modeling of others is the quickest way to learn a new skill. Go learn by sitting across from the skill you want to become.
The next step is both subtle and cunning. The most important thing you can do upon entering a room of Sharks to disarm them has to do with you physically. Only 7% of all communication is verbal but more than 50% is done with our bodies. If you don’t know how to walk, stand or project yourself, every Shark in the room will instinctively take bites out of you as you walk past. They feel your insecurity. You can lock their jaws simply by the way you enter the room. Once there, settle into a group or even a single Shark and further your disarming by mirroring and matching their body language, tone and dialect so you can silently and instantly gain rapport. After a few minutes of following their lead, initiate a subtle physical movement or dialect change and see if they follow. If they follow, you have them completely disarmed and like a snake charmer, you can begin guiding them towards gutting themselves for you.
Step three swims in unison with the previous two. While you are mirroring and matching, your own internal self-talk is critical. If you are feeling, thinking and talking to yourself negatively they will feel it. You see our amygdala is specifically designed to sense fear subconsciously before we ever register it consciously. We have all had the experience of walking past a stranger and just feeling something was “off.” That is exactly what you will be sending the other Shark if you allow your thoughts and feelings to drift. When you raise your standards and project yourself appropriately this should take care of itself. If you are still in process in those areas then make sure to focus your attention on observing the other Shark to quiet your own internal dialogue!
Now that you have raised your standards, your presence is commanding and your thoughts are clear, you are ready to circle your prey once again. This next circling is done when you learn how to listen properly. It starts with the realization that if you’re the one talking, you’re also the one bleeding! He who speaks the least bleeds the least!
Remember, only 7% of all communication is verbal but if we listen carefully, that 7% can tell us almost everything we need to know. Here is the trick to understanding words. Nearly every single word we do choose is chosen to communicate an emotion, a feeling but since most of us were raised to avoid emotions we don’t know this. Think back to your last business conversation. Even as they discussed their sales process, buying process, decision-making process…whatever process it was, how many times did they pick a word that communicated a feeling? If you replay the conversation you will see it was countless times because as humans, every single thought is started by a feeling, that feeling gets intellectualized by thoughts and from those thoughts we choose an action. We relate on this constant loop of feeling, then thought, then action.
One of the easiest examples to demonstrate this is the Shark who says, “I never let emotions get in the way of business.” Wow, he just completely exposed his flank to you. Look at the words he chose. “Get in the way.” He just told you that he sees his emotions as a roadblock. Our single greatest asset in the decision-making process he feels afraid of so he avoids the construction zone. In a pressure situation, he just told you that because he has no mastery of his emotions, his emotions WILL get the best of him and he will only be able to arrive at a few limited answers. Is that someone you want to partner or do business with? By being in touch with your own emotions and knowing how to listen properly, you have just witnessed a Shark gut themselves for you.
Now that the water is nearly crimson, we move onto the final step. As a general rule, Sharks are inherently narcissistic or at the very least, they possess narcissistic traits. These traits are quite often born out of a tremendous sense of inadequacy, a feeling of not being good enough and a fear of letting anyone find that out. That is not a criticism but a reality born out of the human condition. We have all experienced tremendous trauma in our lives, therefore narcissistic traits become a natural survival/coping skill to protect us from the devastating effects and feelings of that trauma. I know because I struggled with this myself. The resulting shame, anger, fear, and denial become wonderful short term motivators and create a tremendous amount of drive to quench our thirst for the relevance we did not get as children. But like the rocket boosters on the space shuttle, shame, anger, fear, and denial are a limited fuel resource and eventually, they burn out and everything comes crashing back to earth!
It is those feelings that are the single reason your life is where it is today. You see, every single one of us chooses our spouse, our career, our hobbies… everything we do in an effort to reconcile an emotion that we haven’t yet dealt with. Ever notice how we all pick the same “type’ of partner who ends up being bad for us? How about situations in business? Do you have a common problem with your deals, coworkers, partners, adversaries? All of those are a direct result of your subconscious screaming at you to reconcile a feeling from a trauma you experienced. Until we face and deal with those emotions we will set our lives up in a way that forces us to relive them. Sadly, most of us never face them because we were told things like, “don’t show your emotions, don’t have them and by God, don’t you dare talk about them.” Ultimately, if you want to be “The Shark” and set yourself apart, the answer lies in your ability to face and master your own emotions.
So how do you do that? As a Shark you are inherently self-focused and derive pleasure in selfish pursuits. That translates most often into a singular approach towards getting what you want! Quite often that approach takes longer and is littered with more struggle then is necessary because you have subtle blind spots from the lack of emotional awareness. Here is where the opportunity lies. Use your craving for self-validation to self evaluate. Begin asking yourself questions about every thought, feeling, belief and action you take. Questions like, “What just happened there? What feeling was I avoiding or afraid of when I made that choice? How is that affecting my ability to perform and make the right decisions in my business? How much more will it cost me if I continue to ignore it for another month, 6 months, 12 months? Am I willing to pay that cost?”
These types of thought-provoking questions allow you to gain tremendous insight and clarity into exactly how the emotions you have avoided are impacting each and every single thought and decision you make in every area of your life.
New studies show that 90% of all top performers score high on emotional intelligence. Emotional depth and breadth is the “It Factor” only a top Shark will possess. If you have it, others will literally FEEL your power as you swim past.
All corny metaphors aside, If you are looking for more information on how I can help you achieve more success personally and professionally, it can be found at www.thegreatnessmovement.com or www.coachkennyweiss.com. You can buy my book, “Your Journey To Success” on Amazon, Join a Greatness Group or call me at 480-729-3270.