I Didn’t Have To Say A Word!
Yesterday morning in the bathroom while getting ready for the day, the title for this post came to mind. The focus was quite simply, on the power of ‘communication’. Not just any communication, but that which is non-verbal. That which occurs in the silence and is so powerful we can’t miss its meaning.
I Was Stunned!
“You seem deeply concerned,” she said. I stood near the jewelry case waiting for a daughter to complete a purchase when my cell phone rang. I ignored it once; but when it rang again within seconds, something said “answer it”.
The news was not good. While I thought I did not reveal a churning stomach, I obviously wore concern on my face. And the young clerk who approached from the rear of the watches was astute enough to recognize that all was not well in my world!
“Yes I am concerned”, I said as tears welled up in my eyes.
“Bad news”, she stated. A statement rather than a question.
I nodded. She smiled and patted my hand while whispering her sorrow for my sorrow.
I walked away as my daughter’s approached chatting about their most recent purchase without realizing I was attempting to recover from a gut blow. Not that they didn’t care; just that they were not as observant as the quiet young sales clerk who readily recognized that something was not well in my world. She was young and I was obviously not a potential customer. Yet she saw something that caught the eye of her understanding and was a stranger with a word and touch of comfort . . . simply because she read the non-verbal cues on my face.
I was frankly stunned!
So What Does This Have to Do With “Small” or “Niche”?
Nothing really. But I took a break from talking about the value of ‘small’ or about the benefit of finding a ‘niche’ to talk about ‘communication‘. Mainly because the nudge to do so came from yesterday’s remembrance of a learning experience I feel is important to share with women in business. Especially Christian women in business.
Why? Why is it important to us as Christian women who own a business of any size. A dream we are living out. A passion that drives us to keep going no matter what the day brings?
It’s important because the business world turns on communication.
Verbal communication can make or break relationships. So can the silent kind, and in many situations that which is unspoken has more power than the words we utter.
I recall a time when I was an active consultant with a major skin care and nutrition company. A prospect asked if I thought she was not going to purchase product. I hadn’t said a word and was taken back by why she would ask that. Actually I thought she was reading my mind because that’s exactly what I was thinking!
Three things I’ve learned over the years about doing business as a woman of faith:
- It’s all about motivation. And intent
- And what we say non-verbally will either seal a deal – or slay it!
- What motivates me will show on my face (without saying a word); and be obvious in my body language.
Obviously the life experiences I’ve spoken about here reveal that I would never win at poker! For what I’m experiencing within shows on my face and in the way I carry my body.
Wow, who knew!
To Thine Own Self Be True! But First. . .
First we must know ourselves pretty well before we can be true to who we are at the core of our being. I may say I’m motivated by my faith in PAPA God, but if my behavior belies that in the eyes of others; no amount of denial will change their perception.
It’s difficult to discern the true motivations of others; yet we can get a good idea of same the more we are with them and the more observant we become. It’s also true that as we come to “remove the beam in our own eyes, we can more easily see clearly to remove the speck from our sister’s eye”.
Motivation is the driving force behind our communication. It impacts what and how we want others to perceive our intentions. It impacts both our verbal and non-verbal language. Try to be, do or say something other than our truth and others will get it immediately. . . or eventually. We might get away with lack of authenticity for a while, but not forever.
Success Belongs to the Observant!
The young sales clerk who never met me before learned the art of observance. She may have done so to be successful selling expensive jewelry. Or it may have simply been part of her basic nature to “watch people” who came into her line of view. Whatever it was, she made such an impact reading my silence as I listened to difficult news, that I have never forgotten her. She saw ~ and she conquered. Conquered my memory with her kind observation and response. And I never knew her name.
Here’s the kicker. If I was in the market for an expensive piece of jewelry; I know where I would go. I would hope she was still behind that counter. More than that, if you or anyone in my circle of friends or family was looking for a jewelry gift, I would send them to the observant young sales clerk who saw my pain and shared a moment of compassion.
Success truly does belong to the observant. It also belongs to those who commit to learning who they are and how to discern the motivations and intentions of those with whom they seek personal and professional relationships!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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