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How To Connect With Anyone In 90 Seconds

Considered a Catalyst for Change, Steve Smith runs the highest rated business and executive coaching company in Orange County, CA. Steve has coached over 500 business professionals world-wide and specializes in leadership and management performance transformations. His company, GrowthSource Coaching, works with owners, executives, management teams and aspiring leaders to help them perform at a world class level, impact their organizations favorably and develop the confidence to keep it that way. Steve also hosts a weekly radio podcast called Business Wingmen. 

Episode Summary 

  • What are the most common business blinspots 
  • Our spouses are the ones who see the blindspot first 
  • Learn the skill of influence to get more buy in 
  • How to connect with anyone in 90 seconds or less 
  • The importance of never losing trust 

 Quotes  

“If you don’t recognize what your blindspots are, you can hold your business back and have no idea you’re doing it” 

“What people really want to know is I’ll put up with your crap, but do you really care about me?” 

Resources  

Business Blind Spots eBook 

How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie 

Convince Them In 90 Seconds by Nicholas Boothman

Guest Information  

Website: https://www.GrowthSourceCoaching.com 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GSCBusinessCoach/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GSCoaching 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachstevejsmith/ 

Phone: 949-951-9163 

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Chris Ippolito 01:09 

Hi, Steven. 

 

Steve Smith 01:10 

Hi, Chris. 

 

Chris Ippolito 01:11 

How are you? 

 

Steve Smith 01:14 

Had a very, very busy day, but I am glad to be on the show with you tonight. 

 

Chris Ippolito 01:18 

I am super glad to have you. It’s been quite a journey thus far in releasing and I love the support that you’ve been providing, and obviously being a guest, as well. I wanted to talk about your e-book that you’ve got, the Business Blind Spot. Because I think as humans it’s very difficult to identify our own weaknesses, being a blind spot, and you wrote a book on it. I figured, hey, you’ve probably got some interesting insights on that. Do you mind sharing a little bit? Maybe let’s start off with defining what a business blind spot is, and then we’ll start unpacking it from there. 

 

Steve Smith 02:03 

Okay. We all have these innate short sights of how we operate, how we show up, how we interact with people. And if they didn’t matter or nobody knew them, then nobody would care. But if you’re a prominent figure in a business, you own the business, you’re a senior executive and you’ve got authority in how the business runs, then you have to at some point realize that there may be things that you bring into the workplace, your own personal dynamic. Things that affect how you interact with your team, with clients, that you don’t see but people around you pick up on. 

 

And the easiest way I can describe this is, and I didn’t come up with this, you can find a lot of descriptors that point in the same direction. But when you’re driving a car and you’re using your side view mirrors to see who’s behind you or on the side of you, there’s a spot where a car can reside in that you can’t see them. They can see you, but you can’t see them. Based on what you might do in that moment, you could radically affect their safety, but you don’t know they’re there. You’re operating in a blind spot. 

 

In business people that operate in blind spots are people that have assumptions about the way things ought to be or they discount the way things should be in running a nice, professional business that they basically don’t care about, they don’t look for them. But people around them, whether they’re subordinates, whether they’re part of their team, they see the ill effects of what’s going on, and that’s the blind spot. They’re trying to figure out, “How do we reach this person?,” because he or she, what they do affects how the business runs, how it operates, how people experience working with it and working in it. And if you don’t understand what your blind spots are and recognize what detrimental effect they’re having on how well the business runs, you can hold the business back and have no idea you’re doing it. 

 

Chris Ippolito 04:07 

Yeah. And hence why a coach would make a lot of sense, is now you’ve got that outside perspective to perhaps identify it for them. Maybe that’s a good question. When you’re working with clients and you’re trying to help them identify those blind spots, are you in a sense pointing it out to them or do you try and guide them to them almost uncovering it themselves? 

 

Steve Smith 04:35 

Well, in all cases you want the client to discover the blind spot. Because if they discover it, then they’re much more likely to take ownership for it and, once they recognize the detrimental effects it’s having, be willing to change. Okay? The only way to take a blind spot and reverse it is to be willing to change some part of your personality, some part of how you run the business or interact with people around you that eliminates that problem. 

 

But what I find equally is sometimes I’m helping people get clear about a blind spot that they might have. Many times though they already know they have it, I’m not the first person that has said something to them about that. They’ve heard it before, but over time they’ve discounted it because in their minds it’s not worth making the change for, “I can get around it, I’ve been running this business for 20 years and everything has been fine.” They dismiss it as having any relevance. 

 

Chris Ippolito 05:36 

Then what changes? Is it because it’s coming from a different source that now all of a sudden they’re going, “Okay, maybe I should pay attention to this blind spot that has been brought up to me by my significant other, my partners, my subordinates, my colleagues,” whatever it is? Is it just because now it’s coming from a different source, or what would be the reasons behind that? 

 

Steve Smith 06:01 

It’s funny you mention that because I frequently have had clients who, when we explore this and bring some things to light, they’ll say, “My wife has been telling me that for years,” and she’s just happy that somebody else is saying the same thing. Frequently our spouses, whether it’s a woman in business and the husband or vice versa, frequently our spouses see these things way before anybody else because they’re living with us. But they’re also in the least position to have influence because they’re living with us. We tend to discount a lot of the day-to-day because they’re living with us. 

 

And when somebody new shows up and fairly quickly identifies something like this, all of a sudden it’s a shock to the psyche. It’s like, “Ooh, I thought I hid that, I thought nobody else knew that except my inner circle. And now this person I’ve just invited in to help me figure out how to run this better within two weeks has figured out that I’m guilty of this.” That shock value sometimes can open people’s eyes. All right? 

 

What more frequently happens though is it’s not the person who brings it to light, it’s the changes that take place within the business that create adverse effects today which weren’t there a year ago. And one of the most common things that’s happening today is the workforce is changing. The people that occupy many of your lower and mid-level positions in a company are not your baby boomers anymore, they’re your millennials, and in some cases it’s the generation Z folks showing up. They’ve got a completely different idea of how things should work and an expectation for what should be happening in a business where somebody is in charge and somebody is not. They’re the ones that show displeasure or don’t react the way the boss thinks they should and all of a sudden, “Wow, this used to work and now it doesn’t. Why is that?” Well, it’s not because the blind spot all of a sudden has gotten worse, it’s just you have a bunch of new people in the organization that aren’t into that status quo thing where, “Well, that’s just the way he is, he’s been like that forever.” No, “I just showed up and what I’m seeing I don’t like.” 

 

Chris Ippolito 08:08 

Right. Yeah. It’s super interesting, actually. I want to go back to the idea of our spouses already knowing and even sharing sometimes those blind spots. But yet because of the dynamics of that relationship, for some reason, and you’re right because I know I’ve done it, but we dismiss it or we minimize what they’re sharing with us because it’s almost like, “Well, you just know me so well, that’s why you identified this. But nobody else is really seeing it and it’s not that big of a deal.” It’s funny because the first thing that popped to my mind is, “Well, jeez, maybe I should just listen to my wife more often and I’ll save myself years of paying,” right? 

 

Steve Smith 08:55 

If everybody did that, I would not have a business anymore. 

 

Chris Ippolito 08:58 

Very true, very true. 

 

Steve Smith 08:59 

They’d just get their guidance from home and they’re good to go, absolutely. 

 

Chris Ippolito 09:03 

I was going to say, “Hey, we’re done, episode is over. Just listen to your spouse, problem solved.” No. I don’t know what it is, it’s obviously a human behavior type thing where the people close to us, like you said, the inner circle, we just, for some reason, we discount their feedback to us, especially when it’s unsolicited in a sense. Like when they bring it to your attention like, “Hey, did you ever know that you do this one thing and it may or may not upset a lot of people?,” and you’re like, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Whereas, and maybe you do this with your clients, but sometimes you actually get the person to go and ask their inner circle some questions that try and reveal. But it’s different when you’re asking for it versus when it’s unsolicited, would you agree with that? 

 

Steve Smith 09:58 

Oh, totally. And here’s what I had to learn when I started coaching back in 2008. Because I had come out of a corporate manufacturing structure and it was a different time and a different hierarchy and a way of organizing and managing things. And giving feedback to people was really more like giving advice. Okay? And whether you were ready for it or not, whether you needed it or wanted it or not, you were going to get it. And what I learned when I stepped into the coaching world was when you give people feedback or suggestions or observations or advice, any way you want to cloak it, and they’re not ready to receive it, they’re actually going to become inwardly hostile about it. Because it’s not a suggestion that they’re perceiving as help, it’s an attack on them. 

 

Chris Ippolito 10:52 

Like on their character, yeah. 

 

Steve Smith 10:54 

Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn’t matter whether they agree with it and they’ve heard it before, they’re going to defend that bad behavior to the hilt because they didn’t ask you to give them that. 

 

Chris Ippolito 11:09 

That’s really interesting and I like that we’re going this direction. Because I know somebody who spent a lot of time in a large corporation and was brought up the ranks to like, “This is how you manage,” and it was very much like that. Like you provided advice, whatever it was, like you gave coaching, you gave advice, and it was almost always unsolicited. And they ended up near the end of their tenure in this position, they shared actually, “What is going on? Now all of a sudden I have to ask how they’re feeling,” or whatever it is. 

 

How does somebody who’s in a leadership role, we’ll just say it’s a leadership role, how does somebody shift from that? Maybe they’re in that position where they’ve done it a certain way for years, right? Like we’re now talking a more senior entrepreneur or business owner, they’ve been doing business for quite a while. But now, like you said, their employees are the millennials, the Gen Zs, and they don’t really take kindly to that very direct guidance and coaching. What’s the alternative, how do you navigate that? 

 

Steve Smith 12:21 

Okay, what you have to remember is if you’re serving up feedback, observations, suggestions with the right intentionality, meaning you’re genuinely doing this because you feel like once this person is aware of it, by fixing it or somehow altering it they can improve how they perform, how they show up, how they interact, okay? What you have to realize is that in order to get to that point, you have to influence their thinking and have impact on their behavior. And what that requires is getting somebody fully present and accepting of what you’re about to tell them. 

 

All it really boils down to is how you serve it up. Instead of just going and saying, “Okay, Chris, I’ve noticed you’re doing this and this is causing a problem and you really need to start doing X, Y, Z,” right? The alternative to that would be to say, “You know what, Chris? You do these things very well, but I’ve noticed in watching how you execute that there are some things that I think you might benefit from. Would you be interested in my feedback?” Now you’re either going to say, “Well, yeah, I want to know exactly what you have to say.” That’s an open door, boom, you tell them. But they might say, “Well, you know what? No, I’m really not ready for that right now.” Okay, that’s great, let’s move on to something else. 

 

Chris Ippolito 13:42 

Okay. It’s basically seeking permission before. 

 

Steve Smith 13:46 

Yes. But even if they say “no” and you move on to something else, most of the time their inner curiosity will get the best of them and they will come back to that and say, “Okay, what were you going to tell me?” And that’s okay. I don’t care how long it takes them, just as long as they’re ready to receive the information. And then once they’re open to that, then I give it in a very neutral fashion. You never attack the individual, you always speak to the behavior or the performance. And you always leave them on an upside. “If you just did this very simple little tweak in how you open up meetings, I think you’d get a completely different outcome in terms of how engaged people are. Because you’re always telling me it’s like pulling teeth to trying to get people to participate in meetings. Well, try this and see what happens. And I’d be curious to find out the next time you have a meeting how it works for you.” You’re going to have somebody walk away from that interaction with a completely different mindset about what they just went through than if you beat them in the forehead and tell them what they did wrong. 

 

Chris Ippolito 14:44 

Yeah, very true. The funny thing about that actually, now that I think of it, it’s not really a new approach. Because if you look at Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, it’s not like he wrote that a few years ago. That book has been around for a while and a lot of what he writes in there is exactly what you’re saying, not necessarily to seek permission. But unless they’re willing to receive it, they’re not going to take it. And forcing your point of view on people, you’re never going to win, and just that kind of thing. 

 

It’s really a conversation of learning the skill set of influence, which I would highly recommend that book. I don’t know if you’ve got any other resources you would suggest, but that book really helped me out when I was in that position of struggling with how to influence the behavior that I was looking for in a role where I depended on my colleagues to send me business, referral business. And they just weren’t doing it. I read the book and I tried applying some of the principles and all of a sudden it was like, “Oh, jeez, it’s working.” I was like, “This is so crazy.” 

 

Do you have any resources or some go-to stuff that you would suggest people look into as far as how to help develop that skill? If they’re struggling with this, of course, or if they want to get better. What would you recommend them taking a look into? 

 

Steve Smith 16:16 

Okay. There’s a book that I recommend to everybody that I run into that confides with me that they have a problem with rapport building. Because whether you know somebody just casually or you’re meeting them for the first time, it’s that first eight seconds of interaction that predetermines how well the relationship is going to go from there. And some people are so petrified at the idea of, “How do I show up? How do I meet people? How do I put my best foot forward and be impressive?,” okay? That they strike out. And it’s not because they don’t have the capability, it’s because they’re so nervous that they do things to actually create problems for themselves. All right? 

 

One of the books that I recommend, here it is right here, it’s called Convince Them in 90 Seconds. 

 

Chris Ippolito 17:08 

Who’s that by? 

 

Steve Smith 17:09 

And it’s written by a guy named Nicholas Boothman. 

 

Chris Ippolito 17:11 

Wow, I’ve never heard of that book. I’ll add that to my to-read list. 

 

Steve Smith 17:13 

Well, let me tell you where I got this. Hey, I was in a FedEx office one night quite late, like it was 8:45. And I’m hounding these people to get all these meeting materials printed and ready to go for my meeting the next morning. They’re like, “Okay, we’ll do it. You just hang out and we’ll tell you when it’s ready.” What do I do? I start walking around the showroom floor and they’ve got all these little kiosks, these things that twirl around with little books on them. And there’s the predictable stuff that you see in every one of these stores, but on the bottom there was this book and it was Convince Them in 90 Seconds. I picked it up and I thumbed through it, and I read the front and the back, and I thought, “Oh, this is pretty interesting.” 

 

Well, this guy has a process that he’s put together, it’s fairly simple. But his guarantee is that if you follow this process and you practice it and you deliver it exactly as he tells you how to do it using your style, that you will have just about 100% ability to connect with anybody you run into. And I thought, “Wow, this is great,” I read it. I mean I don’t have any problem with that, but I can always learn how to be smoother, how to deal with people that I might look at and say, “Ooh, that person is harsh, I don’t want to get to know them.” Well, they might just have had a bad day and I’m reading them wrong. 

 

I love stuff like that because if you have a great first impression with people and you spend a little bit of time not telling them all about you, but asking them about them, they will leave the room thinking you’re the smartest person they met that night. 

 

Chris Ippolito 18:42 

Yeah. That’s very true. 

 

Steve Smith 18:44 

And it’s incredibly influential. And those are the kind of things that a week, a month, a year later you get a call from somebody and say, “Hey, I’m working with a guy and I thought of you because he needs help and I think you can help him.” Bingo, it’s perfect. 

 

Chris Ippolito 18:58 

I’ll have to check that out. 

 

Steve Smith 18:59 

It’s a slow process, but it’s a great system. 

 

Chris Ippolito 19:02 

Do you remember what that process was? Like maybe just high level? 

 

Steve Smith 19:08 

Yeah, because there was seven specific steps of things that you do. But I think one of them in there was every person you meet you show up with a smile. People are naturally attracted to faces with smiles on them. Now it shouldn’t be some big, giant, toothy grin, because for some people that’s a little intimidating. But if you show up with a genuine warmth about you and a smile on your face, you pretty much disarm just about anything you run into. 

 

And it’s just little stuff like that. But you’d be amazed, I mean I’m sure you’ve run into people before that you show up at a networking event or a group that you’re normally part of and they show up and they’ve got this scowl on their face. They have no idea what they look like, it’s their head showing up on their face. And until you figure out the connection there, you’re going to sabotage yourself and not even realize it. 

 

Chris Ippolito 19:58 

Yeah. I think that’s a great one, actually. Because any time I need to, I don’t necessarily want to say “complain,” but if I have an issue with a retailer or restaurant or whatever it is, there are a couple things that I do right out of the gates to make sure that I’m going to get them on my side. And this is actually also in How to Win Friends and Influence People. I smile, I say, “Hi, how’s your day going?,” and, “What’s your name?,” if I didn’t already get their name. If I’ve got their name, I address them by name, smile, and say, “Hey, listen, I don’t know if you can help me with this, but,” and then I lead into it. And yeah, it’s incredible the amount of times that I’ve been able to get what I was looking for. And in a lot of cases I wasn’t even looking for anything, I just wanted to provide them feedback. Now all of a sudden they’re like, “Free this, free that, discount that,” and like, “Oh, you were such a pleasure, thank you so much for bringing this to our attention.” 

 

Steve Smith 20:58 

But you know why that works? 

 

Chris Ippolito 21:00 

Because not everybody else does it. 

 

Steve Smith 21:02 

Yes. In the average person’s life that is in a job that serves the public, you could be in a retail store, you could be in a restaurant, anyplace where you’re having to deal with public people just coming and going, okay? The vast majority of their experience is not good. People are walking in there with attitudes, they might have had a fight in the car with their husband or wife and now they’re just wearing it on them, or they’re super picky, or they’re just looking for an argument. You’ve got to field all that stuff at a moment’s notice. Any time somebody walks into your establishment and they’re genuinely appreciative of what you do and they value the experience there, but maybe a little wrinkle happens, say, “Hey, can you help me out, can you fix this?” They’ll bend over backwards because you did it in a pleasant manner, you didn’t attack them first or threaten to sue the business over it. You just basically said, “Hey, I come here because I like it, but the steak is a little underdone, can you have them torch it a little bit for me?” They bend over backwards to help you out. 

 

Chris Ippolito 22:04 

Yeah, it’s so true. And to tie it back to what we were originally talking, I think if a leader of a business, entrepreneur, executive, if they take that kind of approach when interacting with their employees, their colleagues, whatever it is, now all of a sudden they’re not going to go like, “Ugh, the boss is making me,” they won’t feel micromanaged and this overbearing manager. Now all of a sudden they want to actually help out and elevate themselves because they’re like, “This person was so pleasant and made my day. And even though they provided me some coaching, they did it in a manner that was very authentic and genuine and loving, almost, in a sense.” They just receive the message a lot more. 

 

It’s so fascinating. Once you start understanding this principle and you’re just so much more observant to, pardon my language, but how shitty people are to other people, then you’re like, “Man, no kidding this person doesn’t want to work for you or work with you, you’re not being very nice to them.” And then you can go in and you smooth things over by being nice, but then all of a sudden you’ve won an advocate to your side. This applies whether you’re an owner, leadership, or even just a colleague and you’re just trying to build a healthier work environment, just be nice. It’s so crazy, right? 

 

Steve Smith 23:38 

Well, I’ll tell you why a lot of people resist that, and especially people in positions of authority. Because somewhere along the line they equate “nice” with being weak. And if they’re weak, people won’t respect them, people won’t do what they tell them to do, they lose control. And your traditional management approach has always been autocratic, command and control, okay? But you can be a hard-ass, you can have high standards. But what people really want to know is, “I’ll put up with your crap, but do you really care about me? When things are really tough, can I come to you and get the help to do my best work on your behalf?” And if I know I can, then I’ll rise to your expectations. And occasionally if you’re cranky or you’re short of whatever and I’m not particularly caring, it’s okay, because I know that past all that you still care about me as a person in your organization and I’m willing to deal with that. But when people think you don’t care, they check out. All of a sudden they’re there for a paycheck, nothing else. 

 

Chris Ippolito 24:49 

Yeah. And you don’t want those kind of employees. They’re doing the minimum amount of work to not get fired, is basically what they’re doing. 

 

Steve Smith 24:59 

Yes, but what’s even worse than that is when you take an employee that was good and loyal and, through your bad behavior, you turn them into that. Sometimes you can do things and you think nobody is watching, and somebody that’s close to you or maybe admires you, you’re a mentor of theirs, and they see you doing something that’s unethical or shortsighted or whatever, okay? And they walk away, all of a sudden everything changes and it’s like, “Wow, I thought I knew that person and I never thought they would do that.” And that changes everything and you will spend the rest of your life trying to get that back. 

 

Chris Ippolito 25:35 

Yeah. Like a fall from grace of a hero, is the way I look at that. If you idolize somebody, a mentor, whether in business or even in life, because you have them on a little bit of a pedestal, which is fine. You can idolize people, just be healthy about it. But then, yeah, they do something that you’re like, “Whoa, that’s not in line with that image that I had for them.” Then yeah, it’s disheartening. I’ve actually had it happen to me and you’re like, “Wow, that’s really heartbreaking.” I don’t know if it was their true character or whatever, maybe it was just a moment of weakness. But you do lose a little bit of, I don’t know if it’s respect, but the status of them themselves, it drops. And then you’re just not as willing to do more for them. 

 

Steve Smith 26:33 

Right. Yeah, because you’ve lost trust. And once the trust thing is broken, it takes a long time for people to get that back. And even if they get back to a plane where they’re back working and collaborating and doing what you ask, there’s always going to be that little element in the back of their head that it’s like the red flag waiting to pop up. Yeah. I mean we’re all human, we’re all going to fail at some point. And the whole idea is not to try to become perfect, the idea is really to assess how you show up and how you interact and what you get from that, and try to figure out what you’re doing that’s just not serving you well. 

 

That’s why I wrote the book, because I chronicle these specific things that I saw clients doing over and over and over again, and they just discounted it like, “Okay, well, nobody cares about that, nobody is telling me anything about it.” And what they didn’t realize was the rest of their organization was sitting back and saying, “Well, how come he doesn’t see what we all see?” And just the fact that you’ve got that break in understanding is enough to cause people to develop distance. 

 

Chris Ippolito 27:46 

Yeah, this was a good conversation, I really like this. Now to wrap it up, what’s that one thing you think that our audience should do so that they can put the right foot forward and start developing the skills? I don’t know, what do you figure our whole episode was about? I think it was about just developing influence over people in a sense, but using it in a way that’s positive and impacting positive behavior. 

 

Steve Smith 28:18 

Okay, making improvements in your business, if you’re the owner, you’re a small business owner, that business has a personality of its own. And it’s like a footprint in the sand and you made it. It’s a reflection of how you run the business, who you are. And the biggest problem some owners get when they get up in age is to try to figure out, “How do I sell this, how do I pass it on to somebody else and separate myself and have the business thrive without me there?” Everybody wants to think that they’re central to the success of the business, but that’s actually limited thinking. You should be able to build the business and say, “How could I set this thing up so that when I leave, it’s still going strong?” Okay? 

 

Chris Ippolito 29:06 

Agreed, yeah. 

 

Steve Smith 29:07 

The way to do that, and this is the hard part because as humans we’re not wired for this, is to introspectively look at yourself and say, “What can I do better? What should I stop doing that’s going to benefit the business and all the people that depend on that business?” 

 

For a lot of my clients what I’ll do is I’ll put together very short little survey questions. And sometimes if somebody on the outside does it, it’s a little more objective than if you have the object of the survey do it. But I tell them, “Okay, take these four questions, pick 12 people in your surroundings.” They have to be close enough to you that they know what you do. They can’t be too close that they know everything about it that you do, but they have to understand you and have some regular interaction so they can speak to you. Send them all e-mails, one by one, and just say, “Look, I’m working on myself, I’m trying to improve some areas so I can influence my business better and I really could use your help. Can you answer these four questions for me and be as brutally honest as you’re able to be? Telling me what I want to hear is of no use to me. What I really need is your candid, unvarnished feedback.” You almost have to go overboard to convince people that that’s what you want. Okay? And you send it out. 

 

Now you’re not going to get 12 responses, you never get 100%. But usually you’ll get 9 or 10. And some of them will be quite insightful, some of them will be brutally honest. I did that early on when I started coaching about a year and a half into it and a guy in my networking group who I knew he had no filter, I mean he would just tell you straight up, and I sent this to him and he sent me back an 11-page letter, single-spaced. And you know what? That was the best feedback I ever got. Did I like reading all of it? No. But I pulled some jewels out of that thing that served me well. 

 

It’s a hard thing to do, that’s why most people won’t do it on their own. You almost need to work collaboratively with somebody else to guide you through it and let you know that when you get the stuff back, there’s a constructive reason for doing it. They’re not going to fillet you and leave you by the side of the road dead. You could pick things out of it that will work for you, but you have to be in that very open, honest mindset that, “Hey, I built a great business here, but it’s plateaued for the last 18 months.” There’s probably a reason for that. Before you start picking out people to hang by the neck in your own organization, look in the mirror and figure out what you’re doing that might have stifled that. 

 

Chris Ippolito 31:47 

Yeah, I like the idea of asking the questions. Is it four specific questions or does it vary? What are the four questions that you would normally ask? 

 

Steve Smith 31:58 

The four questions vary according to what I’ve already observed the person suffers from. All right? As an example, one of these guys had basically built such a personal brand of himself that he literally had trouble acknowledging any difference of opinion about who he was. I mean this was a tough one, this is one of the toughest ones I’ve ever had. One of the questions was, “When you first met me, what was your initial impression? Now that you know me, how has that impression changed?” Because what you’re really looking for is the gap. Over time have things changed, have they not but are they not where you want them to be? You have to get information back that you can work with. And you never ask a question that ends in “yes” or “no” because there’s absolutely no value in that. 

 

I mean I have a whole new appreciation for upholsterers. Because designing questions that people will respond to and give you genuinely valuable feedback is tough. It’s very, very tough. But if you get some good ones, you’ll get some stuff back and it will give you some information to work with. 

 

Chris Ippolito 33:18 

Right. That’s awesome. I think, coming out of this, if we don’t have four defined questions, what I would suggest people do, because your book, is it a free e-book? I can’t remember. 

 

Steve Smith 33:32 

Yeah. Go to my website, they can download it. I don’t even ask people for their e-mails, they can just download it right there. 

 

Chris Ippolito 33:40 

Perfect. I think that would be a great next step coming out of here because that will probably open up their eyes a little bit to potential blind spots and maybe what to do next. And then, of course, all those books that we referenced I’ll include in the show notes as resources if they wanted to do more. Well, it sounds like your book would be a great read, I’m going to probably add that to my list. Yeah, I think that would be great. 

 

Was there any questions or anything that I didn’t ask of you that you would want to add to our conversation before we wrap up? 

 

Steve Smith 34:15 

I don’t think anything specific, but the one thing I’ll leave you and the folks that will be listening to this is the problem with living at your true potential for most people is they think they can do it without changing themselves. It’s mostly, “Okay, everything around me has to change, and then the field will be perfectly set for me to be successful.” Okay? The first thing you should be looking at is, “If I want a different outcome, what do I have to do differently to get it?” And if you’re willing to embrace that idea, then everything you get will always be advantageous to you, even if it’s not pretty to read. That’s the mindset you have to develop if you’re going to open yourself up and really say, “How do I get to that next level in my occupation, in my business, in whatever endeavor I’m trying to do? How do I have to show up and perform differently to get to a higher level of performance and output?” 

 

Chris Ippolito 35:13 

Yeah, it’s great advice. And then one last thing. If people wanted to reach out to you and connect, what’s the best place for them to reach out to you? 

 

Steve Smith 35:26 

If you want, I always invite people to check my website out first, and it’s growthsourcecoaching.com. And everything about me and all my free resources and services are all there, you can get a really good view of everything I’m all about. I do have people a lot of times that finally wake up to the idea that they can’t live with what’s been going on and they need help. I get calls all the time. And you can call my office line at (949) 951-9163, that’s my direct line. And if I’ve got time at that moment, I’ll get right into it with you. If I don’t, I’ll set up a time where we can get back and explore what it is you’re looking for and whether or not I can help you. 

 

Chris Ippolito 36:08 

Great. And I’ll include that in the show notes, as well as some of the other methods that people could reach out to you. Cool. Well, that was a lot of fun, Steve, I really appreciate the conversation. 

 

Steve Smith 36:20 

Yeah, this was good. 

 

Chris Ippolito 36:21 

It went a very different direction than I was originally thinking, but it went in a good direction. No, I thought that was really good. Awesome. 

 

Steve Smith 36:28 

Well, I think the fact that you can spur questions and just follow the natural flow of stuff, I think that means you’re going to have a good podcast. 

 

Chris Ippolito 36:40 

Thank you. 

 

Steve Smith 36:40 

Because there’s nothing worse than listening to a podcast that’s so overly scripted that you fall asleep over it. It’s always nice to hear twists and turns and things you didn’t think you were going to get into because I think that’s what causes people to come back. 

 

Chris Ippolito 36:54 

For sure. I basically wanted to just create something that I think I would enjoy listening to, and I don’t really like the very structured ones. If they’re very structured, they’ve got to be super, super short. But no, I really enjoyed the conversation, really appreciate you being a guest. 

 

Steve Smith 37:13 

Yeah, thank you for this opportunity. 

 

Chris Ippolito 37:15 

Yeah, you’re welcome. Looking forward to future conversations. 

 

Steve Smith 37:19 

Cool. 

 

Chris Ippolito 37:20 

Take care. 

 

Steve Smith 37:20 

Thank you very much, take care. 

 

Chris Ippolito 37:22 

Bye. 

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