Make Life Easier with Systems
By Catherine Palin-Brinkworth
There are three kinds of people - those who make it happen, those who
let it happen and those who wonder what happened!
How many times have you lost a deal, lost a customer, lost a good staff
member, and wondered what happened? Where did I go wrong? What did I do
that didn't work?
A lot of the time we wing it, don't we? And there's nothing wrong with
that. The use of our intuition, our experience and our spontaneity brings
a freshness and reality to any situation. But I learned years ago when I
first began in sales management, that when you create a system, you
take the guesswork out of life and provide more opportunity, energy and
safety for that freshness. It's like knowing what side of the road to
Once upon a time I was shown a puzzle. It's now shown to you, right
here on this page. I know you're busy, but take just a moment and count
how many squares you can see.
16? 17? 21? 26?
There are 30 squares! There is the big one around the outside and the
sixteen small squares inside. That's 17. There is a square made up of four
in each corner, a square of four on each side and one in the middle.
That's 26. Then there is a square of nine small squares in each corner -
an extra 4, totaling 30. Amazing, isn't it? "So what?" you may
ask. Well, look for the metaphor.
It's a difficult puzzle for most people to do, at least in a short
time, because they are looking at a muddle of lines and spaces, and it's
tricky to sort out what squares have been counted already, and what you
have not. Keeping track is challenging, unless there are coloured pens at
the ready. So most people either give up (and lose) or get it wrong, or
spend a lot of time sorting it out.
Life is just like that. Selling is like that. Service is like that.
Management is like that.
We are usually dealing with fairly complex circumstances of
communication between at least two different people with different styles,
mindsets, agendas, attitudes and beliefs. We struggle and muddle, trying
to sort out each circumstance individually, trying to remember everything
we observe, and it's hard work. Or we just wing it and risk getting it
wrong. Or we give up because it's too hard (and lose).
Life can get so much easier when we use a system.
Let's go back to the squares for a minute. There's a system we can use
to make the puzzle easier to solve. There are four rows of squares. If we
square the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 individually, and then add them (that's
1, 4, 9 and 16) we get 30! Brilliant, isn't it? It works every time. And
it works for more rows of squares too. It works because there is a system.
In your life and in your work, what systems could make life easier for
you? Here are a few I teach:
1. There's a system for understanding different people's behavioural
styles. I have a theory that there are no difficult people - just
different people! If I can use a system to recognize their style and their
needs, and treat them the way they need to be treated, they become more
co-operative. And life gets easier.
2. There's a system for selling. A good system works well. If you can't
sell, it could be because you are not completing every step of the system
well enough, or because you forgot to use a system for screening
3. There's a system for negotiation. If we fail to achieve our goal in
a negotiation it's likely it is because we have not followed a system and
we have left out a vital ingredient.
4. There's a system for service. Complete the process correctly and
your customers will appreciate you.
5. There's a system for leadership, for sales management and for
coaching too. Follow a system, bring your heart and soul, skill and will
to the steps and strategies, and you will succeed.
Every morning when you wake up you follow a system - a well-worn set of
steps and processes that gets you ready for the world outside. If you
leave any bits out you just don't feel quite right all day! When you start
your car you follow a system. It has become unconscious competence by now
- but miss a step and your car won't go.
Systems make life easier. Find systems that are right for you. Learn
them, and use them to achieve. Systems help you save time and energy too.
About the author: Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is
an international presenter, consultant and author on business and personal
success strategies. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Ecology and is a
Certified NLP Practitioner.
A powerful, inspirational presenter with practical and
proven success skills and strategies, Catherine is in constant demand as a
keynote speaker. Her web site is www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com
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