She Said to me, “I Have No Agenda.”
– by Coach Colle Davis
In Texas, they have expressions requiring interpretation. Once translated to Common English they reflect deep philosophical truths. They have the same meanings as those in common use and are accurate for their Big Texas world.
Here are a few favorites with common interpretation:
- That dog won’t hunt. Means, ‘This deal won’t work.’
- I got no dog in that fight. Means, ‘I don’t have anything at risk in this interaction.’
- All hat and no cattle. Means, ‘They talk big, but they don’t have the resources to do anything.’
- A mile wide and an inch deep. This one describes the Red River and is self-explanatory.
- Y’all come. Means, ‘You can join us.’
- All y’all come. Means, ‘All of you can join us.’
- Jeat. Means, ‘Did you eat yet?’ Usually associated with breakfast.
These are fun, funny and useful once they work on your tongue. Their ability to convey the situation in a few Texas-born-and-bred expressions deepen rapport and add trust because they invite you into their world.
Full disclosure, I’m married to a stunning Texas woman.
Texans have another expression I love, f**k you money. It means someone with ‘walk around money’ in their pocket. It also means someone with extra money to spend on the weekend. The term translates as a degree of personal freedom. When one has f**k you money, they can say and do what they want to do and not worry about repercussions. This anecdote can be traced back to the West Texas oil fields when rough necks would be paid on the weekend and came back into town to enjoy their largess. It helps make Texans Bigger Than Life. (Yes, it can also be traced back to sailors on leave and other areas where lexicons originate.)
I learned a new but equally powerful non-Texan expression in a recent conversation with a talented professional woman. It’s an expression I had never heard before. She has been in her industry for years; she is traveled, educated, has amazing rapport skills, and is at the top of her company and she is not a Texan. Nearing the end an appointment with my wife and me, she reassured us with this expression, “I have no agenda.”
To be honest, her comment set me back on my heels and the depth of its meaning stopped me. She is comfortable with herself, her company, her place in life to the point she can focus on our needs, wants and desires. Telling a person, you have no agenda says your entire focus is on serving them to the best of your ability and resources and that is what you bring to the table.
That statement is rare, precious, and reassuring to hear. I have been in that space with no agenda and love the strength and freedom it brings. The ‘I have no agenda’ expression coupled with ‘I want the best for you’, and ‘I’ll do whatever I can to help you reach your goals and outcomes’ are powerful statements based on ‘no personal agenda.’
Gifting the ‘no agenda’ time to a person, especially a prospect or client is the most powerful advantage you have. The trick is reaching that point.
Here are some suggestions for creating a powerful advantage:
- Have enough money in your account so you are not impacted by the next sale.
- Be focused on your client so your needs are secondary. This is a rare and powerful advantage.
- Be a stoic so you are not concerned with anything except ‘the moment’ which is even more rare.
- Focus on the other person’s needs during the interaction and bring everything you have to the table to fulfill their needs, wants, and desires. This takes both training (role playing) and practice.
- Learn the fine art of not caring.
Several of these suggestions are easier to implement than others. If you have not reached the no agenda point in your life, I suggest you re-read this information and practice the techniques to see how they feel.
In your next interaction with someone, pause to see how to move forward when you have no agenda. Take a moment to think of an interaction and see how powerful it feels and how practicing the feeling is life changing.
Selling is what we all do all the time. We want to have our own way. We want to meet our goals. So, the question becomes, how do we behave when we talk to others?
Stop selling. If what you have to offer is a good fit for someone’s needs, you are only there to work out the details of delivery. If they are not a fit, you can walk away or take a few minutes to learn about the person, their hopes and dreams and maybe even make a friend. In either case, you have the no-agenda-zone to work in and have fun.
For more creative and powerful advice, contact me. I promise you this, I have no agenda except to work with you to formulate your outcomes. For more in-depth techniques for progressing your career, contact Colle Davis. Your first session is FREE. This risk-free offer for career advancement is held in a relaxed setting in Richmond, Virginia, with a cup of coffee with Colle Davis, an Executive Coach with a thirty-year track record of success. Virtual sessions are also available.
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