CREATING POWER: 5 OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD IT AND KEEP IT (Issue 22)
by Diane Gold
Many of us, on an hourly basis, let distractions lead us into the temptation of walking off our path. We see a recipe we like and start reading about it; we turn on the weather channel to see if it will rain and end up watching 15 minutes of TV. We see a headline on some news source and read, and read, and read and read. Online, we click for reference material and read 5 more things. All while we are working on another task.
When I sat down to write this very article, it was 2 hours later than when I planned to start. Hand feeding my courageous cat, pondering global energy and catching up on some internet reading actions that got me off my intended schedule. Valid they were, but they took me off my schedule. In this article, we will explore together five of the most common ways we give away our power which, of course, we need to accomplish our goals.
ANSWERING OUR PHONE FROM KNOWN CALLERS
One of the greatest distractions in our lives is the phone. We rarely turn it off.
Unless we are life and death workers; it’s a safe bet to say that it is not necessary at all times of the day. There are many reasons we answer it when we are busy:
1) We don’t care about the work we are doing.
2) We want a distraction or socialization.
3) We have little self-worth and believe that whomever is calling won’t call back because we are not that important.
True phone story: Years ago, I recall saying no to my dad, Harry, when I was 13, when he asked me to go see The Guns Of Navaronne with him. I said no because I was waiting by the phone for one of the girls in my group to call and invite me to go downtown. The result of my having said no was that my father went to the movies on his own, the girls never called me which hurt my feelings, I hurt my father’s feelings and he passed before there was another movie opportunity (his photo left).
I’m not suggesting we always have to say yes; far from it. I am remembering the sequence of events that ensued from my shaky self-worth and misplaced priorities.
So, the bottom line is that the phone can stop us from completing our goals by stealing our focus. Just because it rings, we don’t have to answer it. We become powerful when we realize this.
ANSWERING AN UNKNOWN CALLER
This type of phone call has its own category because it is an opportunity for big power, a gift in disguise. Here’s how.
Let’s say, we respect people who work on a commission job, like the people who might call unannounced, so we won’t flat out hang up on them. But we do answer, even though we are busy, in the middle of work, leisure, play, homework or zoning out. Here’s a sample script of how to pull the power out on these calls:
D(iane): Good day.
M(arketer): Good day. It’s Tammi Tune. I’d like to talk to you about a new weight management program we have just opened up.
[Here comes the power.]
D: Do you have an appointment?
[Immediately, we own the conversation. And we make M realize we are busy, breathing, warm humans who have lives other than answering the phone for marketers. Then M is more respectful. ]
M: No, my company wanted to save you money on fresh water for your home.
D: I’m not available now. I appreciate the call, though.
Or if s/he asks for us by name when we answer the phone,
D: Good day.
M: Good day. It’s Tammi Tune. Is Diane Gold available?
D: That would depend. Do you have an appointment, Tammi?
M: I wanted to share something wonderful about our new collection of meditation robes.
D: Thank you so much for the call. I’m not available now.
We can always choose to listen to the pitch or schedule a call back time. We can also give the caller 30 seconds to pitch us.
But, it’s our choice. We are in charge of whether to answer our phone and how far to go.
Schedule times when we are available to take calls. We can still choose to ignore a call. Most phones have an ignore button. Same for texts and emails.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND TECH SUPPORT REPS
Have you ever noticed that for many of our home services, like telephone, electric, tech support; we are on hold for lots of time? Those of us who cannot relate to this may be too young to have handled this type of call or may pay other people to make the calls.
Most of us have called customer service or tech support reps. And we wait. And wait. With music we have not chosen in a genre that is not to our liking. Every minute we wait costs us time. If we bill at $100 per hour (round number example) and hold for 22 minutes, we have just given up $22, and, still pay the company for a service.
Currently, we must plan to be on hold. Before we call any service or tech rep, we must schedule work simultaneous to the call. This way, we will accomplish our work and not waste our time on hold. And we will feel happy and powerful.
It is important to remind the rep that our time is worth money and that it is unfair for us to pay the company and work for the company by being on hold for no pay. We own the conversation, and we teach reps to be considerate.
Norton usually gives us an extra month of internet security service to compensate for hold time, though it usually equals the $5 an hour rate. Some type of compensation should be the norm, not the exception.
It is also important that we make it clear, when our issue can’t be resolved in the current phone call, we are not available in our busy schedule (even if we are lounging around doing nothing) to call back. Why would we, as customers, who pay for goods and services have to call the company back, which would be working for the company without getting paid? Very often, when customer service and tech reps boss us around, they are reading scripts. We must smile and take charge.
We each have some characteristic worthy of being called a name by some mindless twit who, at that moment, does not have a drop of empathy. I am reminded of the construction worker next door who, when I asked if I could walk through the house he was working on my sick cat who needed medicine was lost, said,
“That’s your problem.”
To give myself power, which I didn’t really have because the gates to the yard where I wanted to look were locked and I was not going to fight the worker for access; I imagined that the worker got locked in the house, his phone battery went dead and he asked for my help through the window.
I said, “I think that’s your problem. Oh, wait. That’s what you would say. I’m not a jarhead like you, so I will help you.”
Forgive them for they know not what they do is easier said than done. It’s tough to forgive when people hurt us. We must muster up power to do it.
The first thing to do when people call us names is – no, not go into our room and sulk – go change our perspective. Emotions are like reflexes. They show up after certain actions affect us. They are actually biological reactions to situations. So they are not right nor wrong. They just are. So how do we grab our power?
Our first action is to look in the mirror, throw ourselves a big kiss and tell ourselves we are awesome. No matter what!
Our second action step is to go talk it out with someone, anyone. The power comes to us from changing our perspective and not dwelling on the words of some blockhead at school or work or in the street. If we don’t have an available friend, we can go to the library, the local food mart, the closest religious structure, the grocery store, the café. There are lots of people just waiting to listen to us. It will create more power when we approach them.
REACHING OUR GOAL
On the road to reaching our goal, whether it’s to lose weight, gain friends, become vegan to balance weight issues, eradicate hunger or learn to sing; there are always potholes, bad weather and trials on the way to success. And there are many successes on the goal highway.
Here is THE effective action step that will serve us all well no matter what our road looks like:
Notice that we are more powerful for having begun our journey. No matter how many mudslides we encounter, we as a remarkable human being can create new ways to maneuver the twists and turns of the way to reaching our goal, moreso, because we have begun.
There are many ways to create power in ourselves. The more we do it, the better we get at it, and the more confidence we will have because we will be experienced power creators. These 5 opportunities consist of three everyday occurrences, two that come up from time to time. The more practice we get at stepping up to being powerful, the more natural it will become, and the more it will creatively arrive in a variety of situations.
Please leave your comments below or visit on Twitter @warriorsoweight.
DIANE GOLD, AUTHOR
Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music and stress expert and a dedicated mom. She has learned through her kung fu, tai chi and music training that repetition can change our framework. She says, “The way we used to handle a situation becomes obsolete when we become familiar with a better way. Further, what used to make us uncomfortable, with repetition, becomes comfortable and easy. “
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