Definition of Paradigm Shift – Shift in Paradigm – A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.
Paradigm shift or Shifting our Paradigm is not only in sales but most commonly in life.
I am reminded of the story of a father sitting in a hospital waiting room with his four young children.
The four young children, ranging from two to nine years old, ran around a hospital waiting room, jumping on chairs, yelling and screaming, entirely out of control. While the father sits in a chair, not paying attention, doing nothing to parent his four young children.
The folks in the hospital waiting room were being disturbed and began whispering about his lack of parenting skills.
After about 20 minutes, one of the men sitting in the waiting room walked up to the father and said, “Sir, I don’t know if you are aware of it, but your children are disturbing the people in this waiting room.”
The father looked up at the gentleman and, with tears in his eyes, said, “Yes, I know, and I am sorry, their mother just passed away, and I am not sure what to do.”
At that point, hearing the father’s response, the folks in the waiting room took a different attitude. They began helping the father.
There are most likely many variations of the story, but the point is the same. I have searched to see where the story came from, but no luck—checked for Plagiarism, no luck.
What the people in the hospital waiting room experienced was a Shift in Paradigm. He wasn’t a bad father; he needed help.
I have used this example of a Shift in Paradigm or Paradigm Shift many times because it conveys what it takes to change our assumptions and behavior. What you think is real may not be.
In Other Words – What you thought or think is real is not. What you think the story is, is not, what you perceived is incorrect.
I used to tell my sales team that a significant part of selling is your ability to be authentic and see beauty. If you genuinely cannot see something of beauty in the person you are engaged with, the surroundings, and so on, don’t go into sales, and if you do, sharpen your sword.
Everyone has something they are dealing with in their life, and you know nothing about it.
If the first meeting, those first few seconds don’t go well, Good Luck, because you will need it. The time it might take to make a Shift in Paradigm, well, it just might not happen.
I learned that the first encounter with another person releases dopamine, giving you less than several seconds to make a good impression. Now, there is good dopamine and bad dopamine. I can tell you it will take a severe Shift in Paradigm to change someone’s reaction to their first encounter with you if it goes badly.
Wouldn’t it be easier to see beauty first?
Having a genuinely positive attitude isn’t just a few words on a piece of paper. It’s real, and it can be felt, seen, and remembered.
10+ years ago, one of my all-time favorite Internet companies employed a young man who managed a specific portion of their business. From the day I met him, we were not able to communicate appropriately. Meaning, our first meeting, the first impression was not a good one.
In one of our last conversations, I said, you know, every time we talk, it gets heated; I don’t have that with anyone else. He said I know neither, do I.
I thought about it for a second and asked (for some unknown reason) when is your birthday? He said May 29th. I said, well, now I am going to have to love you. He asked why and I told him that I had a brother whose birthday was May 29th. He died when he was 18 years old.
I am not sure how he felt about sharing that with him, but I will tell you one thing. For me, it was a Shift in Paradigm. From that point until he left the company, my attitude was different. I made a Shift in Paradigm. We are connected on Linkedin, and he has grown into a very successful man.
I wonder if people who adapt to change and look forward to continuing development and lifelong learning live longer?
So, as salespeople, management, sales management, or people living our daily lives, we need to create our own Shift in Paradigm.
Our perception of others is sometimes totally off, and first impressions are vital. But, so is our ability to analyze ourselves in our journey of “Getting to Change.”
How can we create our Shift in Paradigm? Ask ourselves if what we think is right is correct? Is there something we might be missing? Is the problem us or them?
This morning I was thinking about how many people believe they are at a point in life where change is no longer important. I wonder if people who adapt to change and look forward to continuing development and lifelong learning live longer?
That my friend is something, I will leave for my good friend Karen Miller, who hopefully will be joining us soon.
The Back Story
I have heard this story told in a few different ways—the example of a Shift in Paradigm is one I have used many times over the last 30 years. By the way, it is a Paradigm Shift, but I prefer a Shift in Paradigm.
Now that you’ve heard or read the Shift in Paradigm story, you might give thought to it when you are meeting someone for the first time, and you have a hard time understanding someone you work with or how you look at someone you have known forever.
In “A Shift in Paradigm,” it took more information and understanding to change a room full of people’s emotions.
- What is your story of a Shift in Paradigm?
Ann Emanuele says
Thanks, Joe. I appreciate your comments.
Joe Booker says
You make some great points and observations.
Whenever I teach a class of future leaders, I make it a point to tell them to find at least one thing to like about everyone they will interact with, whether superiors or subordinates. Even if the only thing you can find to like about certain difficult people is the idea that somebody at home loves them, grab that thought and hang onto it. It makes a difference, and depending on the circumstances, could very well make all the difference in the world.