As part of my 6-session coaching package with clients, I take them out, on a wing-person night out, to my favourite bar in central London. In small groups, I teach them how to make the most of their opportunities while they are out and about. We look at things such as where to position yourself, what to look for in body language, and what to say in order to start a conversation. Last week, I held one of these evenings. They are always great fun and people are surprised at how friendly and receptive most people are. I say ‘most’ because, let’s face it, there are always the small minority that aren’t interested in chatting. And that is just fine.
So, I sent them off to have a look around, to see who was there, to check out peoples’ responses, to gauge who looks open and approachable and, most importantly, check out who is making eye contact with them! One of the women noticed a guy checking out the other woman – this is the beauty of having a wing-person; it’s easier to notice these signs for someone else, than it is for yourself. I suggested that the two of them go over to where the guy was standing in order to be in close enough proximity to ask him a question. A few minutes later, they returned.
‘We failed,’ they said.
‘Did you consciously and proactively make a decision to do something?’
‘Yes,’ they replied.
‘Did you do exactly what you wanted to do?’
‘Yes,’ they replied
‘So you walked over, stood near him, with open body language, and you didn’t see an opportunity to ask a question?’
‘No,’ they said.
‘Then you did everything that you could do on your part. You succeeded. You won! We do not link our success rate to the actions of others; we link it to our own actions…the only thing that we actually have control over’.
When we do what we want to do: we take action, we say what we are feeling, we set boundaries, we say ‘no thank you’ when we don’t feel it, then we always win. The measurement of success is when you, with conscious awareness, follow what you want to do. How other people react is not your responsibility, nor your concern. Feels better, right?
If you think you could use some extra help with this, please have a look at the handy, dandy infographic below.