Saturday, November 7, 2009

Appreciate (The Wisdom Of No)

Have you ever been in any of this situations:

You applied for a job. This is one of your top-five most wanted job. After posting your application, you waited those long hopeful hours. You stared at your cellphone day and night until it finally rings! You just won an interview. And you gave your best, you were one of the first arrived, you conquered all the questions tactfully. You gave everything only to find that three weeks after the interview, not a single person inform you (not even a phone call or text message) whether you are accepted or no.

Wednesday, noon, lunchtime. You are munching your chicken wings dipped in terasi-sambal-sauce. *ringring A customer calls you. You say to
your colleague "Ah, let them wait, its the only time of the day I can relax". But the phone keep ringing. And as a professional salesperson your heart couldn't resist anymore but to answer, hoping there'll be a sales lead. So you spend the next 15 min explaining your products, forgoing your decent meal. And another 20 min to write a proposal complete with price quotation and terms of payment. All is done only to find that your proposal e-mail is never replied with anything.


Been in any situation with more or less similarity? Maybe the examples are a bit business-related. Let's try something simple. You asked 5 of your friends if they can make it for a quick dinner today. You called up early in the morning. Everyone's answered simply "hmm, i'm quite free, but im not too sure, i'd let you know if I can make it or not". Fast forward to 6 o'clock. Nobody replied. And you're already in the diner. As expected, nobody show up either. Gantung. Hanging on a string. It just bothered me. And I reject to blame this on "well it is the eastern-culture". NO! If something contains no positive value, should we continue it as a culture? And NO it is not culture. It's just us. And you can improve if you decide to.

The culture of late stuck with me for some time before, but it all changes when i start coming to my local church, JPCC who always start on time. When they say 12pm. Then the door is closed 11.45. After getting an uncomfortable seat for two or three times, I learned the hard lesson. Thankful for that though. We say its Indo-culture, I refuse that! Shame if we did nothing and accept it as it is. Coming on time means you appreciate people's time.

The same thing applies with the above example. Why let people uninformed and confused? Are we afraid of saying "no" to ineligible applications? Are we afraid of hurting others feeling when we reject a proposal? That is no excuse. I've been applying the opposite thing for quite some time. Whatever it is, whether I accept a patner's proposal or not, I inform them. Letting them know what our decision is -- yes or no -- that's appreciation to their effort. Imagine you are the company in case #1 would the candidate promote to a friend the products of the company (your company) that didn't inform anything to them? Hey, your company might also lose a potential candidate 5 years after when you make another opening. Would you care to answer another phone call from a neglectful partner? Or from another point-of-view, would anyone care to accept your phone call if you are that neglectful partner?

Sometimes even though its a "no", its much more appreciated if we let people know, rather than left them hanging on a string. You gain the person's respect and you let them know you appreciate them as well. It also represent your value -- professionalism, something that represented as your track record. A "no" can be a wise move to make. Especially in a long-term perspective.

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