I’d like to share a “moment” I had last week while talking to a professor from Montclair State University. His name is Dr. Rob Gilbert, and he specializes in Sports Psychology. Our common thread is that we both graduated from the University of Massachusetts.
While holding my rapt attention, Dr. Rob asked me a question that immediately stopped me in my tracks. He asked me what was the worse thing any one of my athletic coaches could have said to me as I exited the field of play. I uttered some knee-jerk lame responses and asked him what he thought.
“Marchev. You look very tentative out there.”
Tentative is a word that implies hesitancy, caution, uncertainty, un-sureness, and timidness. I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of any of these synonyms. On the field of sport, or in the field of business, the word timid holds little value.
This word opens up some very interesting discussions, since you can also err on the flip side. Lawyers often do… as do some doctors. Antonyms include: conceited, egotistical, unabashed, brash, and fearless.
Not unlike doctors and lawyers, I have spent the last 35 years being paid for giving advice. Thinking back, at times I may have teetered toward too much political correctness, in fear that I might “upset” somebody. Yes, I very well might have come across as being “tentative.”
And if this was the case, (and I am pretty sure it was the case) many people in my audiences had good cause to question the validity of my suggestions. If I spoke without an unwavering conviction, why should they drink my Kool-Aid?
I am not recommending that you offer anything but the truth, but I am inferring you do so with a firm and steadfast belief that your words are based on knowledge, experience, and nothing but goodwill toward the audience. If you have prepared properly and done your homework, there is no need for apologies or for treading lightly.
In your business, as in sport, there is little room for playing tentatively. Balls-to-the wall. Full speed ahead. Leave everything you have on the field. Play hard. Have fun.
As my college football coach once said, “If you don’t know who to hit, hit somebody.”
But whatever you do, do not do it tentatively.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.