February is the month of love, and I, like many in the building industry, just got back from a lovefest in the building industry – also known as the International Builders Show (IBS). It was the first time in two years to see friends, colleagues, and clients in person. There was hugging, there was laughter, there were cheers.
This year was the first year I’ve gotten to speak on a stage at IBS. And I got to do it with 4 women I love and respect, and I call friends. In the past I’ve spoken at Professional Women in Building HQ, or most recently last year, virtually. But there is a whole new level of anticipation and stress when you are on stage yourself. I couldn’t have asked for a better group and a better topic – Extreme Home Makeover Sales Edition: Empowering Your OSC to Guide Sales Conversion & Customer Experience. We had fun! I hope you got a chance to see it. If not I hope you’ll catch the replay.
One of the things I love about watching the speakers is that everyone has different perspectives and it’s great to see our industry from different angles. Whether it’s from a marketing perspective, a training perspective, a sales perspective there are so many ideas that can be taken and assimilated into your own ideas to make everything we do stronger. I always look at IBS as an opportunity to learn from one another.
Sending a little Valentine’s Day love to the building industry
I find that while we are a big industry, we are a relatively small group, and over the years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know people more and more whom I respect and admire. Many of my friends are people who do things I don’t do in the industry. They are people I love recommending because they bring a different aspect of knowledge and expertise to the table that I “know enough to make me dangerous,” about. At the show is also always a time to see what our competitors are saying as well. And I feel lucky to call my competitors friends.
The energy is palpable at the show, and I’m a pretty energy sensitive person. It’s impossible to be positive 100% of the time – that falls into the realm of toxic positivity. We all have our days that are up and down, but there is something that came to me as we all spent time in person.
There are three words that came to mind after the show ended. Competitive, Collaborative, and Combative.
I used to think competitive was a bad word. When people would call a particular company or person my competition, I would balk at that. One because I didn’t want to be in a battle with someone for market share, clients, or credibility. But two, because I have always had an abundance mindset which is basically that there is enough to go around. That not every consultant, company, or solution is right for every client and each of us resonates differently with different people.
Over the years this has naturally led to my collaborative approach toward business. I feel like when we all help each other we create a positive energy in our industry and lifts us all up. We do the best we can for our clients, and everyone wins.
In recent years I realize that competitive doesn’t need to be a bad word. When we are competitive, we help push each other to stay relevant, stay targeted, and when there are other options out there, we don’t get lazy and dial it in. We must continually innovate and stay up to date as we evolve our industry.
I’ve grown to realize that being Competitive is the neutral space we all exist in. It’s neither positive nor negative.
But sometimes I find that we can fall into a combative energy. When we find ourselves combative, we are putting negative energy into the world, and no one wins. This comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s an offhanded remark that spirals as it spreads. The game of telephone is alive and well.
It often stems from our own insecurities. And let’s face it, we all have them. But it takes a lot of self-discovery and introspection to figure out where it’s coming from. Sometimes it may just be a momentary bad day. Or sometimes it’s something that goes deeper. You never know what someone is going through, and their energy is made up of a myriad of things that we just can’t know. When we wallow in that energy, and live in it, we don’t even know we are exuding that kind of vibe.
I know that in my lifetime I have been misread before. Surprise! I came across a quote from Simon Sinek yesterday that resonated with me. “Communication is not about saying what we think. Communication is about ensuring others hear what we mean.” I can only hope that as we continue this path together in our industry as we reach out and build relationships with clients, with colleagues, with competitors – we try to give each other grace and the benefit of the doubt. Let’s all try not to fall into combative energy and instead lift each other up.
I always hope everyone I know, knows my heart. In my heart I’m here to collaborate, uplift, empower, and support others in the industry so that we all rise and create great things for our clients.
If you ever feel you’re hearing a different message. Ask me.