Journal

cold calls

She called me three times the past few months, on the pretext that she knew a board gaming friend of mine (who I’m still unsure who he is at the moment). Tried asking her for the purpose of her call to no avail. Sensing something funny going on, I postponed her calls till one month later and three months later respectively.

And finally on the third call, she was like “I play board games too.”

Oh? In my mind I was like so are you trying to invite me to a board gaming event? Or have you also heard that I was trying to design a board game and you would like to invite me to a special event for board game designers?

“Actually I’m a financial advisor…”

Never mind the rest of her conversation, it was 1 hour after the call and my reaction was still like:

Rant

Can’t take it that I decided to take it out on Facebook

***

After taking it out on Facebook, I decided to do something which I don’t normally do. I called her back.

Frankly speaking, I do not know why I bothered.

I just felt that I should.

***

“Sorry, you cold called me just now?”

“Oh, I must have pressed the wrong button while I was flipping through my phone book just now.”

“No, I called you back. There’s no mistake. I’m calling you back because I would like to give you my feedback on why I rejected you. Except, I’m not sure if you would like to listen to it.”

“Oh, ok…”

Didn’t expect this to turn into a 20-minute chat.

It seems that this lady was not that new to financial advising. She was expecting to do a referral call but this particular one with me ended up as a cold call. I told her that she actually had a chance, if only she was upfront about the purpose of the call, there’s a chance I might listen more, instead of a tough rejection.

I really believe she could do cold calls. I’ve seen it working for many people whom I knew.

She was insistent that she’s making a referral call.

As it progressed, we chatted about other stuff, her profession and mine, she shared a bit of stuff about her husband also, trying to find a bit of common ground to chat about. And we parted amicably (I hope). Left her a link to LusiGroup. Offered to arrange a free pass to their preview if she wanted to find out more.

Strange to say, now it seems as though I am doing the cold call eh?

Anyway, still not sure why I did this though it did made my day interesting.

Afternote: As to whether it made my day, well… a friend of mine did commented: “(she) probably will brush it off and think it’s just one irritating person.”… Right…. Ouch!

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Ideas

a little bit of rebel ~reprise~ (Part 3)

This is the third part of my little bit of rebel series. If you missed out the previous two articles, you can find them here and here.

In this article, I would like explore the final quality which I felt was important: Collaboration.

I must first make a disclaimer that collaboration is not one of my strengths. However more and more, I found it a very interesting aspect to learn about and the importance of it. If you have any opinions to share on this, please share! In the meanwhile, below are my personal thoughts about collaboration…

*****

If I were to write a formula about what collaboration is, I would put it this way:

Collaboration = Win-Win + Common Ground + Soft-Skills

Win-Win

In order for collaboration to happen, the very first prerequisite would be to have a win-win mentality. We might have different visions and different missions in life, however, we value the fact that we might have something to offer at the table to each other. Over here, I just want to make a note that the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R Covey probably has one of the most comprehensive explanation of what the win-win mentality is about.

In my opinion, win-win would also encompasses openness, the willingness to learn from others and the willingness to share what we know. I put the willingness to learn from others before the willingness to share for an exact purpose. For this, I would like to point to Brene Brown’s research that in order for a person to give something, they must learn how to receive first. Similarly, I think it is easy for everyone to talk about ourselves and what we know to feed our ego. However, we must also humble ourselves and learn to listen to what others have to offer.

Common Ground

In the world out there, a big part of collaboration is actually to co-create something. You might be thinking that isn’t this a conflict to the “different visions and missions” I was talking about above?

There is no contradiction here. I thought that the two actually goes hand in hand. During the collaboration period, collaborators would need to find a common goal to achieve:

A friend of mine was Whatsapp-ing me regarding an idea to create iPhone and Android applications for a business. Meanwhile, I’ve recently learned how to develop Android applications and I am interested to further my skills in this area. At this current moment, his vision was to start a business and my vision was to further my skills in developing Android application.

Our common ground, developing an Android application for his business.

Soft-Skills

Common ground deals with much with the values of each of the collaborators. There actually isn’t too much we could do about if common grounds cannot be met although we could search for middle grounds.

However, the ability to communicate your thoughts effectively to your collaborators would be something that you could actually learn. Getting yourself into a presentation course could be useful. I want to share with you something which I thought was more powerful, something which I learned from Lusi Group, and that is soft skills.

We might have heard it too many times and I heard it from my coach, Lusi Lim. It is not important to win an argument. The bottomline is, so long the job gets done. Not her exact words, but something to that effect.

In the process of collaboration and sharing, it is unavoidable that our ideals will get challenged and shaped. Having the win-win mentality to accept criticism gracefully is one thing, but what if we are able to soften our delivery of an observation or an opinion so that our collaborators can assess what you have to say more objectively?

In collaboration, we do not keep quiet if we see something we disagree. It is usually more productive to be more open about our different views but because we are all talking about things we are so passionate about, words may hurt others easily and it may get them on the defensive, rather than the open and cordial environment needed for collaboration to take place.

Communication skills anchoring on logic will not be sufficient in this case. Soft-skills to engage and connect with our collaborators would be far more effective. 

*****

Critical Thinking, Innovation and Collaboration. The three important qualities of a rebel a person should possess in today’s context in my humble opinion.

How about the rest of the world, what do they think? I think have some clues to this but I guess I better save this topic for another post before this post becomes a TL;DR. Thank you for reading up till the end of this post~!