June 24, 2010

The Me-Knows

One of the songs of a famous Turkish band is named: “OK! OK! We understand”. Near the end of the song the message of the song is summarized, “…You understand all…. You know everything….”.

Because of my job I talk with over hundred business owners annually. I am sure that you start to gain a lot of information about your clients in terms of your business when they enter your office. You then classify this information in various ways for future reference. Similarly, I form a more detailed map about the behaviour of business owners after each communication. The most interesting group among these is the one consisting of those that know all, the group that I label as the Me-Knows.

One of the important features of the members of this group lies in their response to a new idea that you present them. They tell you, “I have also thought so” although you know that they heard this idea for the first time from you as you could clearly understand from their facial expressions. A mechanism within these people comes to life and tries to protect itself by falsely claiming knowledge.

It is normal for a business owner to have a high ego. Most probably, a high ego plays an important role in achieving success. However, it is possible to overdo it.

You can predict that a business owner with such a disposition will face problems in the process of seeking a partner for his company. This characteristic will create barriers for himself in various points starting with the management style in his company to his attitude towards others in the negotiation meetings. If we think that one of our potential clients has such an excessive ego, then we inform this client that we cannot work with them. It isn’t possible to find a company owner who will go into a partnership with such a person, always telling, “I understand all… I know everything…”.  We shouldn’t forget that the ego of the potential acquirer or partner will most probably be also above average.

Actually, I like the wisdom of Sokrates, “the only thing I know is that I know nothing.”

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