Authenticity vs Strategy
At 9:00am sharp, a trainee and potential buyer walk into a real estate investor’s office with a proud smile on their face. They sit at the investor’s desk.
The investor asks the potential, “I hear you’re looking to buy one of our houses?”
“Ok great! All we need to get started is sign this Agreement, and give us a $1,000 payment.” The investor points to a printed agreement and pen already on the desk.
The buyer stands up and walks out of the office.
The trainee says, “What did you do? You scared them away!”
The investor says, “You never had a buyer in the first place.”
There’s a question I get a lot from people who are seeking relationships, “What am I doing wrong?”
The short answer is, you’re not doing anything wrong.
The longer answer is, you can’t strategize your way to a “yes” if there never was a “yes” there to begin with. The difference between authenticity and strategy, the way I’m using them, is this:
“Strategy” is the word I use to describe the mental state of:
- Trying to figure out how to make the other person give you what you want;
- Seeing the situation as win-lose, or adversarial in nature;
- Reasoning, justifying, or convincing the other person to see things your way and agree with you, which also includes them abandoning their point of view and denouncing it as wrong.
“Authenticity”, on the other hand, includes:
- Being consistent in your signals and messages around what you want;
- Allowing for communication to flow with ease, even around difficult topics;
- Accepting and respecting the other person’s responses, without trying to force or change them.
In this way, seeking relationships is much less like a game of chess, and more like panning for gold.
What are you looking for? Gold.
Ok great! Get out there into the river with your pan.
Did you find something shiny? Take a look. Spend some time to examine it. Notice its qualities.
Oh hey, this looks really nice, and I think it’s a piece of quartz.
Note: there’s nothing wrong with quartz, and there definitely are some people looking for it.
This is the point where strategizing sometimes gets in the way. It shows up like certain questions or concerns in our minds.
- Why can’t this be gold?
- What can I do to make it into gold?
- Why isn’t it gold for me? I must be doing something wrong.
Nope. You’re not doing anything wrong. And there’s nothing bad or wrong about the quartz either. It has its own value and its own uses. It just isn’t what you’re looking for. Decide if you want to keep it or put it back.
This is the difference that authenticity makes.
- Know yourself, know your worth, know what you’re looking for;
- When you find something interesting, take some time to get to know it;
- When you discover what it is, determine if it’s something you want to keep or let go of;
- If you choose to let it go, do so with gratitude. Acknowledge their worth as well as your own.
I know the search may take a while, and we may get frustrated along the way. It’s ok to take breaks. Rest and recover when you need to. When you’re ready, get back up and go again. This is what it means to be resilient.
Did this open up anything new for you? Please tell me, I’d love to know!
You can email me: Steve@CoachSteveYang.com
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