Legal Business Development: 8 Things You Should NOT Do Every Day

by Paula Black
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If you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I have a motto for business development… Do Something Every Single Day! Creating a business development habit is key to building a book of business. But along with that we must look at the habits that we have acquired along the way that are counter-productive to building a book of business. Inc. Magazine contributor Jeff Haden writes about those little annoying things and the not-so-productive things we should consider NOT doing. He advises…

Every day, make the commitment not to:

1. Check my phone while I’m talking to someone. You’ve done it. You’ve played the, “Is that your phone? Oh, it must be mine,” game.

Want to stand out? Want to be that person everyone loves because they make you feel, when they’re talking to you, like you’re the most important person in the world? Stop checking your phone.

2. Multitask during a meeting. The easiest way to be the smartest person in the room is to be the person who pays the most attention to the room.

You’ll be amazed by what you can learn, both about the topic of the meeting and about the people in the meeting if you stop multitasking and start paying close attention. You’ll flush out and understand hidden agendas, you’ll spot opportunities to build bridges, and you’ll find ways to make yourself indispensable to the people who matter. It’s easy, because you’ll be the only one trying.

3. Think about people who don’t make any difference in my life. Trust me: The inhabitants of planet Kardashian are okay without you. But your family, your friends, your employees–all the people that really matter to you–are not. Give them your time and attention. They’re the ones who deserve it.

4. Use multiple notifications. You don’t need to know the instant you get an email. Or a text. Or a tweet. Or anything else that pops up on your phone or computer.

If something is important enough for you to do, it’s important enough for you to do without interruptions. Focus totally on what you’re doing. Then, on a schedule you set–instead of a schedule you let everyone else set–play prairie dog and pop your head up to see what’s happening.

5. Let the past dictate the future. Mistakes are valuable. Learn from them. Then let them go.

Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know–especially about yourself. When something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding.

6. Wait until I’m sure I will succeed. You can never feel sure you will succeed at something new, but you can always feel sure you are committed to giving something your best. And you can always feel sure you will try again if you fail.

Stop waiting. You have a lot less to lose than you think, and everything to gain.

7. Talk behind someone’s back. If only because being the focus of gossip sucks. (And so do the people who gossip.) If you’ve talked to more than one person about something Joe is doing, wouldn’t everyone be better off if you stepped up and actually talked to Joe about it? And if it’s “not your place” to talk to Joe, it’s probably not your place to talk about Joe.

8. Say “yes” when I really mean “no.” Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no go as badly as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don’t, should you care too much about what they think?

When you say no, at least you’ll only feel bad for a few moments. When you say yes to something you really don’t want to do you might feel bad for a long time–or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn’t want to do in the first place.

Imagine… if you truly committed to NOT doing these 8 things, how much more success you would have building relationships. Not to mention your productivity could go through the roof! Maybe it’s a bit much to ask that you tackle all eight at once. Try one for a week, then the next week add a second and so on. In two months you will have tackled all eight. What’s at stake? Strong relationships and productivity. So give it a shot!

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Paula Black
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