Thursday, May 19, 2005

Is Competence Why People Keep Coming Back?

This post at Virtual Handshake is interesting... The author, David Teton, says that, "Charm helps, charm counts, but Character and Competence trump mere charm every time." It sounds logical but...is that how the world really works?

The attorney David uses in his example is celebrity lawyer Bert Field, who states he has never used socializing to get business. The implication is that people do not hire him as a person they can work with, but simply because of his "skills" (which are legendary).

I have another opinion about whether it's skills as an attorney or skill with people that is the foundation for his success.

Reading about Mr. Field in the many articles about him (like here, here, and here) revealed a deep and caring person (former surfer, dedicated walker, family man, and Shakespearean expert) that really connects to his clients. I would venture to say that without the ability to connect he could not have lasted as long as he has in the entertainment industry (known for squashing even their hero's).

I think "charm" might not be the right word to describe the ability to connect with other people in the sense of securing new business or sustaining existing clients. Maybe the right word is, "caring". Being able to communicate at an emotional level, demonstrating real compassion without judgment while maintaining a healthy sense of self feels like what Mr. Field does.

Just my take, and I leave you with a quote:
The secret of great rainmakers is not their ability to sell.
It is their ability to create a relationship that encourages the desire to collaborate.

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