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  • Mitchell York

Are You Using Your Personal Currency?

Something's in the water. I have four clients whose wives have either given birth in the past two weeks or are about to in the next week. Because we're fairly new grandparents, my wife showed me this video the other day - pretty interesting: How To Calm A Crying Baby - Dr. Robert Hamilton Demonstrates "The Hold" (Official) - YouTube. So I sent an email to each of my four clients with the link and a note saying, "This might come in handy right about now!". Why did I do this? Why should you care?

Keith Ferrazzi, in his book Never Eat Alone, talks about the "currencies" that are available to all of us to help build our business relationships. There are three types of currencies. Think of a pyramid.

  • At the base is Universal Currency, which is the currency everyone possesses. It means we're friendly, courteous and caring about people. We hold the door (metaphorically and literally), we help when we can, we extend generosity.

  • In the middle of the pyramid is Professional Currency. We help others by using what we know as professionals (you as an advisor, me as an executive coach). We help others by leveraging our expertise so they can solve tough problems.

  • Then there's Personal Currency at the top of the pyramid. This currency potentially is the most valuable because it incorporates the whole person you are dealing with. I may be coaching someone about their business, but I know they're about to have a life-changing event. How do I support that? By thinking about them, even when I'm doing other things. As soon as I saw the video, I knew I had to share it with my clients.

Ferrazzi calls this kind of activity a "generous ping" -- something that is effortless and takes almost no time, but that shows you care. He also makes an important point: business is personal. Forget about all the times you've heard, "It's not personal, it's business." Nope. When you are dealing with a person (with the exception of the characters on Netflix's Ozark, which is a must-see, BTW), the personal stuff is every bit as important as the business stuff. If you want to elevate your relationship quality, get to know the person you're in business with on a personal level, and effortlessly take the time to care. Then watch the payoff.

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