The Two Sides:
1) Friendly, Giving Attitude Towards Your Business Relationships
2) Fierce Adherence to What is Right
You never know…
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
In November, at Pubcon, Greg Boser and I took a number of people who were very new to the industry out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the world. We escorted them there via limo, and then we took a party bus to one of the Pubcon happenings afterwards.
The concept behind the dinner was to pay it forward. I have been able to excel quickly in my field based on the support more seasoned individuals have given me, and that jump start has meant the difference.
Everyone at the dinner seemed kind of confused as to why we would do something that nice. The answer was two fold:
1. We are nice guys that like to give back to our community, as is the whole BlueGlass crew
2. However, we were also scouting out the future of our business
That brings me to the first side of business relationships, a lesson sometimes hard learned:
Be humane to everyone, because you never know who they will be in the future
Greg and I are a perfect illustration of this idea.
I first met Greg in 2009. By then he had been in this industry around 13 years, and had seen many people come and go. However, Greg took the time to get to know me, and find out what I was all about. Him, Todd Friesen, and Dave Naylor were all old guard search guys that took me in, with little reason on their part to do so.
A year and change later Greg and I are business partners helping each others dreams come true.
You never know who that goofy kid next to you at a conference is going to become. A vendor, a client, a partner, all possibilities are within the realm of reason. Outside of the simple concept of being humane for the purpose of being humane, this concept should be enough to guide us in business.
The flip side of this coin is the old adage that people will mistake “Kindness for weakness.”
I can tell you that this is unequivocally true.
You are wrong, unless you are right.
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
People throughout my career have mistaken my large heart for a fools mind. In these times I am able to flip a switch , and you must be as well.
Business is guided by items like contracts to set the record and guide disputes. As long as you are in the right in areas where business relationships may test you, then stand by your principles and make them stand by their agreements.
However, even in these places of combativeness, never lose your humanity. Remember the rule above. Nothing makes an opponent angrier than when you handle a disagreement in a calm, straightforward, and polite manner. Not only is this the right way to deal with a fellow human being, you will also find that it gives you incredible leverage in the dispute as you trudge forward with a clear mind and they almost always find themselves being worked into a state of emotional imbalance.
By setting your relationships with people in your professional life, including employees, into these two places you will always find success. You shouldn’t sway. Is this a time where becoming defensive or getting on the offensive is correct? If the answer is no, be guided by principle #1. Make it your default setting for all of your relationships. On top of being more successful, I guarantee you will find yourself happier.