Yoga practice is filled with balance poses. As you first learn these poses your concentration is focused 100% on the physical requirements of balancing. You find yourself moving your arms around and tensing your muscles, trying to keep only 50% of your weight on each side of the mid-line.
Then, you eventually learn to see balance in a new way. The physical requirements of balancing never go away, but you begin to see that mindfulness is the most important, overriding key to your balance. You begin to notice that you wobble and fall not because your leg lost its strength, but because your mind did. Your balance feels different every time you practice – some days you’re not very “balancy,” to quote one of my teachers – but you begin to realize that your readiness to be focused and present on a given day are what most influence your balance.
Tree pose (know as “vrksasana” in Sanskrit) is one of the most common balancing poses in yoga. You stand on one leg, driving it down to the ground while your head reaches to the sky. The heel of your raised leg pushes into your standing thigh which, in turn, pushes back on your heel. Your eyes focus on one point in front of you. You breathe. And your ability to hold this pose with grace and calm depends on how well you stay present in all of this. Almost every time I start to fall out of a simple balancing posture like tree pose, I realize that my mind has wandered. But I have also learned that I can usually regain my balance once if I am able to regain my mindfulness.
A sales conversation is like tree pose. There are many ways you can fall, and you are often challenged to stay in balance. You are constantly alert to new information from your customer and the environment around you, requiring constant micro-adjustments. Distractions can enter your mind, at any time and from any place, challenging your focus. But at any point in a sales conversation, no matter what happens, you can always improve your balance with mindfulness. The best way to hold your balance a sales conversation successfully is stay focused and present, aware of everything, not distracted by anything.
So, in your next sales conversation, be in tree pose. Stay present, and you will not only keep your conversational balance, you will have a more productive relationship-building encounter with your customer.