I park my bike and walk up to the cash machine.
At the door of the bank, two Spanish men: a son my age, and an ageing father.
“Dad, you don’t need to go in here every day.
“I can access your account from my computer, no problem.
“Really, there’s no need. If you want, I can print out a bank statement each day for you”.
The father stands there, quiet. It’s not clear if he understands what his son is telling him.
So far, it’s sounded friendly enough – but suddenly, the son says “Or do whatever the hell you want to” and storms off. (what he actually said in Spanish sounds a lot harsher).
As I withdraw my cash, I wonder:
Is the father losing his marbles a bit, unable to understand?
Is he untrusting of online banking?
Or of his son?
Has modern life overtaken his level of comfort with processes and procedures, and he just really wants a face at a bank telling him his account status?
There’s no telling, but one thing is certain:
He wasn’t buying his son’s ‘there’s no need’.
Also certain: It’s not the father’s job to understand, or to trust, or to accept.
Instead, it’s the son’s job to find the message that will finally convince his father that showing up live at the bank daily really isn’t necessary.
But, he got frustrated and his temper flared up.
If ever you get frustrated when someone doesn’t buy your work, or buy in to the good idea you’re trying to to get across, remember this:
It’s not the other person’s job to do so.
Instead, it’s your job to reach that other, and you do that by putting yourself in their shoes.
It’s in *their* world that the sale happens.
So if they’re not buying, it’s your job to keep the conversation open, and asking questions will get you much further than pushing your agenda, no matter how valid your agenda may be.
Also published on Medium.