I saw a meme that pointed out that the “dial” button on a cell phone has no bearing on actually dialing the phone. If you haven’t seen a rotary phone in use (and most people under 30 probably haven’t), you’ve actually never seen a phone get “dialed”. Yet we still use the terminology because as phones evolved, the term just morphed to cover pushing buttons with numbers, and then eventually just scrolling to someone’s name.
Our lives are full of unexamined pieces that are there because of inertia. For example:
I remember one of the first handouts I got at a sales meeting when I first started selling Cutco Cutlery over 20 years ago. The header read “Dialing for Dollars” and it went over all of the reasons why every call got you closer to a sale. It was good, old-school sales motivation. But does brute-force dialing for dollars still have the same value? Maybe. And maybe not.
In Hyper-Connected Selling, I suggest that making unfocused cold-calls isn’t a very useful activity for salespeople. I argue that we need to re-examine the foundation the whole process is based on. It’s just another habit.
Reassess Your Habits Regularly
Now, there’s nothing wrong with habits. It’s actually the only way we can navigate the world. Can you imagine how hard it would be to go through your day if you had to make a conscious decision about every activity you would engage in? Your morning routine would take so long that you’d never leave the house.
Our habits are mental shortcuts that allow us to get through the day. But it’s valuable to look at our preconceived notions to see if they still work.
Because if we don’t, one day we look around and the world has changed right out from under us.
Most of the work in growing personally and professionally isn’t in finding the answers. It’s in making sure that you are asking the right questions. It comes in examining the areas where we are making assumptions and asking ourselves honestly if it’s still the best way to do things. That’s the way to grow.
What assumption can you explore this week?