Sure – this word has gotten me into more trouble than any other four-letter word business wise.
Seems like a harmless word, doesn’t it? Sure!
A friend comes to a meeting and says, “Can you look at my website and give me some feedback?” You guessed it – the response is ‘Sure’. Before you and I know it, we are being emailed and messaged on if we looked yet, what did we like, not like, are we interested in trying anything, can we recommend the website to our friends and connections and would we be opened to being an affiliate – All from the word ‘Sure’.
A friend calls you asking if you have a minute and you guessed it – the response is ‘Sure’. Next 45 minutes goes by and you are listening to a business presentation because they needed to ‘practice’ and at the end of the presentation you are being asked if they convinced you and can they send you some forms to fill out and what is the name of your 10 closest friends you think would benefit from this amazing opportunity.
A friend messages you on Facebook and asks if you can go to their page and look at a post and engage with it – the response is ‘Sure’. You wander to the page, engage and comment on the post and before you know it – daily you are being asked if you would share a post or two on your wall for them to help them grow!
I consider myself decent at communicating. I am betting you consider yourself decent at your verbal skills as well – right?
As the one doing the asking – ‘the friend’ in this case – why are we not clear in what we are truly wanting and or hoping for?
As the one saying ‘sure’ – why are we not asking for more of a description of expectations and desired outcome from their request and our involvement?
As both parties - how often do we leave the situation feeling frustrated and awkward?
Is the issue our instant society has left us wanting to shorten our sentences and not have detailed conversations?
I don’t know the answer for you – but I will say ‘Sure’ has gotten me into more trouble than I care to admit in a public blog post. I have angered folks by saying ‘sure’ and then taking my time to do what they asked – in their mind it was going to happen right then and there! I have disappointed folks by not appearing to be all in effort wise when I have said ‘Sure’. I have had folks bash me and express some unkind thoughts because of my use of that four-letter word ‘sure’ and then not followed through to their liking.
Jennifer Johnson – a dear friend and amazing business/life coach – said this week in a conversation I was part of that
"in every conversation there is always a leader!”
Always! That struck a chord with me. These ‘misunderstandings’ are mine to own! Why? Because I had the opportunity to be a leader in a conversation that involved me and I didn’t lead it.