It's not as difficult as it might sound - there is a solution. Follow these simple steps to check out that the people you are listening to have your best interests in mind.
- What background has the person got? This can be an area where someone will be vague with you, so be wary if someone can’t be specific with you. Warning signs are people who say “I’ve been doing this a while” or “It’s my zone of genius” instead of telling you that they’ve been working in the industry for around 10 years.
- What experience does the person have? I like to know that someone is living the promise land they are talking about with you. If someone tells me that they are a lifestyle coach I want to know what lifestyle they are living. If they tell me they can take me to a 6 figure business, I want to know how long they’ve been running a 6 figure business – 1 year as a 6 figure business isn’t truly a success, even though it might sound like it is. I’ve had one business that had an income of £150,000 a year for 6 year, and from that I know that the first year was more accident than design.
- Who is this person connected to? I find this an interesting one. People often tell us that they are phenomenally successful, and yet the people they mix with are start-ups. It’s a quick indicator of their positioning.
- What is the person telling you? Are they giving you honest feedback – warts and all? Or are they more into telling you “You’ve got this, go girl!” “You’re awesome, you know you can do this!” “I believe in you!” These kind of cheers are wonderful – but they’re not necessarily helpful when you need honesty.
- How many people are following them? Now this may not be relevant in every field, but let’s say you have a social media expert … who only has 250 ‘likes’ on their Facebook fan page – are you going to consider them to be an expert? Take note of what following they have.
- Watch how they behave online. Follow their weekly blog posts, sign up for their weekly newsletter, observe them in forums and groups. What questions do they ask? What questions do they answer? How do others interact with them?
- Reflect on what the person is telling you before you take on board what they say, and as part of the reflection, check on line, check out with other people. If you get the same message, chances are you’re being told the right things. However when you receive conflicting messages, something isn’t right. I generally will use triangulation – this is where you check out with 3 sources to find out if what you’re being told is correct.
How is noise affecting you in your business? Let me know what’s going on for you.