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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Law Five - Receptivity

Does anybody know my password? I know, it has been awhile... In fact so long that I had to look up my password to log in and post this entry.

Well here we are, the fifth (and final) law of Stratospheric Success as described in The Go-Giver written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. As you know by now, the story and ideas of this little gem are something that I believe in. I try every day to make decisions, portray an attitude, live a lifestyle and teach the message described in these five laws. Some days I'm better than others, but when it happens I feel amazing.

If I were forced to choose only one reason why I have the career that I do, it would be very simple. I love the satisfaction that I receive when I help somebody.

Last week, I spent the majority of Friday morning with a potential client. We toured their three locations so that I can perform a thorough assessment of their IT (and like this blog, I'm behind at completing that assessment). At the third and final location, sharing an office by the front door are two happy, friendly ladies. When leaving, one stopped me and described how the bypass tray of her printer wasn't working. She went on to tell me that "the last person that was in couldn't fix it." When she said that, I got a little nervous... This just became a test that would prove competence (and the last person couldn't fix it - yikes!). After 10-15 minutes of clicking and testing, the bypass tray was working and we were printing envelopes. Before I walked five steps, the other equally charming lady had a problem with a screen font in Outlook. She had become irritated by trying to solve it and having no success. After another 10 minutes of clicking and testing, problem solved. I walked out of that office with a smile on my face and true sense of accomplishment. The feeling didn't come from passing the test, or making a printer work, but because I knew that I made two people happier than they were before I walked through the door. Of course, I want to earn the business of that company. But if I can't, having that experience is worth every second that I spend.

On to Rule Five!

The Law of Receptivity
The key to effective giving
is to stay open to receiving.

As The Go-Giver describes, for every inhale there is an exhale. Every contraction of your heart is followed by it relaxing. Without one, the other can't exist. Giving is only possible if the other party is open to receiving.

The words make sense, but practicing this law doesn't always come naturally to me. I enjoy paying for somebody else's lunch. I enjoy paying for the first round of drinks. I enjoy saying "let me do that for you." But I frequently push back when somebody tries to do the same for me. Even worse, when I couldn't win, and somebody else did something for me, I felt embarrassed and guilty.

Well not any more my friend!!! When I truly understood Law Five, it all made sense. When I push back, I'm denying the other person that satisfaction; the exact same satisfaction that I get when I give.

Now, instead of pushing back, or being stubborn, or feeling guilty or embarrassed, I make absolutely sure that the giver knows that I'm appreciative. Most times it's just a sincere word of thanks, some times a follow up email. But in every case I go out of my way to show sincerity.

I think I did it! Five Laws and five blog topics.

To Arlin Sorensen, thank you for handing me The Go-Giver. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I no longer have the book. I've gone through 15 copies, and become a card carrying member of Barnes&Noble. As soon as I get one of these in my hands, I find somebody else to give it to (including three copies to people sitting next to me on a plane). The original copy from Arlin went to my dad.

Brian O'Shaughnessy
Green Bay, WI