Sponsored By

Building Rapport

July 2, 2007

5 Min Read
Building Rapport

This is the first in a new series of columns addressing effective leadership, real success and how to relate to the people around us. Building Rapport is part of an interactive process in which reader contribution is the key to making it all work, so you are encouraged to participate. Your thoughts, ideas, arguments or agreements will have significant impact on future installments. Please send feedback to [email protected] or [email protected]. Contributor Bruce McCardle will also be doing some guest blogging at www.insideselfstorage.com, where he also encourages reader feedback.

Einstein said, Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. And weve all heard the old cliché, The only constant is change.

In business, as in life, theres a great deal of talk about paradigm shifts, thinking outside of boxes, moving cheese, and similar theories regarding the importance of change. We all like to believe were cutting-edge thinkers, open-minded and ready to try new things. But in reality, we dont much like change.

Take a minute and reflect on how your business and personal life has altered over the last decade or longer. Technology has advanced, daily routines may be different, and society veers off track from time to time. The question is, how much of our foundational thinking has really changed?

The older I get, the more I see the truth in the idiom, The more things change, the more they stay the same. A lot of what we consider to be new ideas, thinking and beliefs are really just old concepts in new packages.

One definition of insanity is Doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results. The bottom line is if you want a different outcome, you have to take different actions. We are responsible for our own lives, which are affected by our choicesright or wrong, good or bad. Every minute of every day, we create our own reality.

Your Own Head

While sales and marketing are my professional passion, the study of philosophy, world religion and spirituality consume a great deal of my time away from work. These seemingly diverse fields are more closely related than you might think. I always wonder why people think what they think, believe what they believe and, most of all, do what they do.

I recently came across a pod-cast series titled Thinking With Someone Elses Head. Its basic premise is to make people question what they believe to be truth. Not many in the world today take the time and effort to ask themselves, Why do I believe this to be true and that to be false, that to be right and this to be wrong, or this to be good and that to be bad?

Nothing but the Truth

The majority of our social structure, cultural norms and religious practices, even our government and legislative system seem tenuous to some degree when you realize many people believe what someone else has told them is true. Most have never taken the time to research the history or available facts. Your beliefs may well be correct and true; but wouldnt it give you so much more confidence and strength to know it for certain, based on your own knowledge and calculated understanding?

Heres where things can get very abstract. The truth: Does it exist, does anyone really know it, or does anyone have a claim to it? As much as I love to have that debate, this is not the forum. All Im saying here is we should examine what we believe and proclaim to others to be true.

My pet peeve is to be told something is done a particular way because thats the way we have always done it, or thats just the way it is. If the rule has been researched and tested, if it proves to work and is still current and applicable, then fine. But if you abide by a rule because it has always been there and those who are considered important have told you to do so, then I question the wisdom of your decision.

Think Fast

Remember back to a time when someone threw something at you when you werent looking and yelled, Think fast! As irritating as it was, theres a lesson to be learned. What happens when someone throws an object at you? Do you stop and consider the situation, weigh the alternatives, debate the consequences of the options available to you? No, you automatically, instinctively, catch it or duck!

In his latest book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell says this concept is the key to successful decision-making. He points out that in every situation we confront, our brain goes through this same automatic process and produces a reflexive response. But, he says, we have subconsciously programmed ourselves to tune this out.

Perceptions, experience, beliefs, fears, prejudices and the like all come into play and blur this automatic reaction, causing us to second- and third-guess our initial response. Gladwell believes the first thought is the correct response, and thinking about it can be the wrong thing to do.

This is not a new idea. Tibetan Buddhists teach a concept called Before Thought, which follows a similar line of thinking to Gladwells. What were you thinking before you started thinking? For more than 2,500 years, Buddhists have believed true realization is what happens between thoughts. How about you?

Go and create something good in life today and let me know how it goes. 

Bruce Mc Cardle is the eastern division manager for Mako Steel Inc., a supplier and installer of storage buildings from coast to coast. More than 80 percent of the companys business comes from repeat customers or their referrals. Mr. McCardle has been involved in almost every aspect of the metal-building and construction industry for more than 20 years. For information, call 888.795.7594; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.makosteel.com

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like