Rejecting Mr. Potato Head Mentality
Why are we intimidated by truth? It is a common problem for a lot of us, even for those who consider themselves to be honest and forthright. But the truth is, we are more often than not just like Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story. You know the part I mean, where Mr. Potato Head removes his lips and proceeds to kiss his bottom with them. We say polite things that are not true. We will tell the guy we work with that he has a nice haircut when it is appalling. I mean, someone should warn him that he looks like a total dork. A man tells his wife that those jeans do not make her look fat when she looks like a balloon shoved into pantyhose. Poor woman – clue her in!
I understand because the truth is a scary friend but in remodeling it is a critical friend nonetheless. So many times we are in a sales situation that is turning sour and we struggle through Mr. Potato Head politeness to redirect clients back. But you better bring up the obvious. It is imperative to stop and say, “I sense you are uncomfortable, did I do or say something?”
Or maybe it’s you that has become uncomfortable with them. Tell them, “I am not comfortable with what you have just said. Perhaps I have failed to earn your trust.” Talk. All relationships operate under the same rules. If, in a marriage you are sensing that your spouse is being distant and uncommunicative you must ask the hard questions. Same thing applies to the salesman/prospect relationship. Same thing applies to the businessman/subcontractor relationship.
One vendor of ours hired someone else to work on his chimney knowing full well we have a complete masonry division. He didn’t even ask for an estimate. So, the next time we spoke I asked him about it. I wanted to know why he did that and I wanted him to know that it hurt. It’s all part of the relationship - he cheated on me. And, our relationship survived and seems better than ever now that the situation was explained, forgiven and cleared up.
If you think it, respectfully say it. We will run and tell everyone else why we are upset with our clients, vendors or friends. Stop being a gossip. Do the right thing and tell the client, vendor or friend you should be telling. Don’t be a weenie.