Entrepreneurial tips #12
You’ve heard this old expression, right? Everyone has. It simply means you are more likely to get what you want by being polite than by being rude.
But not always.
As a business owner/entrepreneur, it’s easy to be polite—especially if you were raised that way. Say “please,” hold the door open, offer to pay for lunch, send “thank you” notes. However, it’s not always easy—or advisable—to manage that way.
Sometimes, you have to say “this needs to be done today” instead of “when you can work this into your schedule, is it possible you could…?” And I’lll be honest, when I’m direct (and that’s often), it is frequently perceived as rude. That may be me, that may be how the nuance of language is lost when you are texting or messaging instead of speaking.
I don’t mean it to be rude. I mean it to be clear. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all work better with deadlines, performance metrics and expectations.
We have a chain of command at work that leads to me. Everyone knows who is in charge. But my employees are empowered and encouraged to make decisions, and we also work through a lot of issues collaboratively—particularly me with my senior staff.
A few more thoughts:
NEGOTIATIONS—This is a process where honey is very valuable as long as it is genuine.
CLIENTS, VENDORS, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES—-A consistently positive and (usually!) pleasant attitude builds relationships that last. You cannot believe (sometimes, I cannot believe) how many good business suggestions or leads I get from people I’ve known for years. And sometimes right out of the clear blue sky.
ENCOURAGEMENT—Costs nothing to give, yet is very valuable.
DIPLOMACY—Humble in victory, graceful in defeat. I get that from coaches, but we have political clients and it’s important (but difficult) to keep that in mind. Of course I want to win.
Every time. And of course I want our clients to win every time. But the world doesn’t work that way. And being vengeful or angry doesn’t change the results. Go back to sports—shake hands and move on.
So…what will it be? Honey? Or vinegar? The truth is, you need both. Just be careful measuring.