Today I learned something about getting things your way. The story begins with a weekend road trip to Havasu Falls in Arizona with my friend Sergio. While on the road, I received a call from a polite woman who quickly began to tell me that I had been preselected for an all expense paid trip to Hawaii. Before I could speak, she continued into the traditional pitch about all the things that this trip included and how it would be at no cost to me. I’ve been tricked into a few timeshare meetings in the past and knew the routine. I began to interrupt the woman with questions like “How did you get this number” and “Can I speak with your supervisor about the do not call list, you do not have my permission to call this number”. For some reason on this day, I was fiery. As the woman began to back down, I continued to speed up with aggressive comments about how this was not ok. In the end, she just hung up on me. I sat back feeling that I had won that situation only to look at Sergio, who’s jaw had dropped. As all friends do, he quickly called me out and said “Nice job King Geoffrey”, which was a reference to the aggressive and blood-thirsty young king on Game of Thrones. I had gotten my way (to end the call) but it was at the expense of another persons emotional cup being depleted.
Flash forward to today. I am on my way back from the best hike in all of Los Angeles, a six mile loop from Topanga State park to the Parker Mesa Overlook. A wonderful overlook that allows you to view downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Catalina Island and Malibu. We’re in the car as I get another call from a polite young woman telling me that I have been selected for an all expenses paid trip to Mexico. This time, knowing that Sergio was in the car, I quickly set the phone to speaker so he could hear the conversation. I still had no interest in attending any timeshare meetings, but this time I wanted to try another approach. As the woman talked, she told me the trip was for two individuals. I waited until she was finished and then began to tell her how flattered I was that she was asking me out on a date, and that I would love to accept this trip for the two of us to get to know each other better. She was quiet for a bit and then began to clarify that this trip was for me and someone else, not for the both of us. To this, I quickly countered and said that she seemed nice and began talking about the things we could do while in Mexico like go to the beach, swim in the pool, ride donkeys around. It made her smile and I could hear her laughing on the other end. She had to turn from the presentation and tell me that she already had a boyfriend and wouldn’t be able to attend with me. At this point, I smiled and told her that I was not able to attend without her and that her boyfriend must be a very lucky guy. She smiled, thanked me and our call ended.
So this got me thinking. I received the same outcome from both people, but one had their energy depleted after talking with me and the other got a compliment. Plus, in both situations, I got exactly what I wanted, which was to end the call and not attend a presentation on time shares. The lesson I learned was that there is always another way to get the outcome you want. If your nature is to be aggressive, try a passive approach and see if you can get the same results. If you’re a grumpy person, try something that involves a positive note.