|October 3, 2011
from the desk of Chuck Violand...
Good Monday morning, <<First Name>>—
In Part II of my series on Respect I explore some practical, everyday ways we can demonstrate respect to the people around us.
RESPECT, Part II
by Chuck Violand...
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield joked about not getting any of it. The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin spelled it out in song and challenged listeners to “...find out what it means to me!” Respect is something everyone wants to be a recipient of, and for anyone serious about being an effective leader, we need to ensure it’s being shown to those around us.
Showing respect for someone doesn’t have to be grand and flashy. There are countless, every-day ways in which it can be demonstrated. A great way to start is by working to understand another person’s point of view. How often do we truly take the time to comprehend how others view a situation? Are we more apt to assume we already know what they’re thinking and therefore cut them off in the middle of a comment or finish their sentences? By barging in not only on a person’s thought, but also on their time with our oh-so-important comments, we miss an opportunity to be respectful.
Our modern, high-tech environment provides us with perfect covers for showing a lack of respect. Many have grown up with technology, giving the illusion that it’s been around forever. In actuality much of it is fairly recent. Maybe that’s why many of us are still trying to figure out how to use it in a respectful way.
For example caller ID, invented in 1968, was first intended to provide “informed consent” to the person receiving a phone call. Now it’s used to avoid talking to people we’re trying to evade.
The same can be said for email. It used to be when someone sent a hand written note, or even a memo, it was considered respectful to respond. With email it’s easier to hide out. We can claim we never received it or let it “age” in our inbox until we feel like responding—regardless of its importance to the sender.
Perhaps the most offensive way we show disrespect to others is when we act arrogantly toward them. As we become more and more successful in our company it can be difficult to stay humble. It’s easy for the confidence that lead to our success to mutate into arrogance. And nobody, regardless of their position, finds arrogance respectful. In fact, when arrogance interferes with showing respect to others not only will we have relationships that need to be mended, but personal issues that need to be resolved.
Showing respect to others includes our competitors, even in the face of defeat. It’s understandable that nobody likes to be beaten by a competitor and the customers we lose may have a profound effect on our own business. Yet losing business to a competitor doesn’t mean we can’t still show them respect. While we may not respect their motives, causes, or corporate values, we can still respect their talent or abilities.
Being respectful to others is about stepping outside ourselves and paying attention to the people and circumstances surrounding us. People will be forgiving when we make mistakes or make bad calls as the leader of our company. They understand that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. What they won’t be forgiving of, nor should they, is being disrespected.
Like it or not the competition in the restoration and cleaning industry has gotten a lot more fierce.
Through buy-outs, consolidations, and well-funded outside investors your competitors have gotten much larger and a lot more sophisticated.
If you don’t have a well thought out game plan to compete with them, then you’ve unintentionally become part of their strategy to beat you.
Is it time to stop playing around and start playing to win?
A well-written business plan, one that’s written with the assistance of four of the leading business consultants in the cleaning and restoration industry, can help you beat even your toughest competitors.
It’s a weapon they’ve used for years. Take the offense by having your own.
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