One of the most difficult aspects of operating any business is dealing with people. Because the focus of business is often more related to tasks than relationships, this issue can become confusing.
If an individual’s personality is task-oriented, it is very easy for him or her to be focused on accomplishing the task at hand. However, if an individual is more people-oriented, the task aspect of business will become less of a priority and the relationship with the individual will become more of a priority. This is apparent in business situations as well as in life in general. Perhaps an illustration will help explain what I am trying to say.
I recently spoke to someone who is very task-oriented. He told me about an incident which involved a misunderstanding with a business client. He was concerned about taking a correct position in the situation so as not to be taken advantage of by his client. Because he now understands the Model of Human Behavior, he knows that one side of it relates to task but the other side is related to people. Even though the issue was more task related, he made a choice to take a risk and operate from the people side of things instead. He sent an e-mail to his customer and took full responsibility for the “mess up” that had occurred. Even though he felt that he was right in the situation, he chose not to make that the issue. He simply decided to humble himself and seek to make the relationship with the client more valuable than just being correct in the matter. The client responded very positively and the situation was resolved. There will be additional business in the future because of the way my friend dealt with the situation.
There is nothing in business more difficult to understand than what I am trying communicate in this Tip. I do not believe that anyone should “roll over” and let other people take advantage of you. But neither am I talking about losing future business just because you want to be right. What I am talking about is being willing to “bite the bullet”, take the blame and trying to save your relationships rather than defending your right to be right, even if you are right!
I once heard someone put it this way, “I care more about you than I do my own point of view.” Unless some vital principle is at stake, that pretty much sums up this entire Tip!
Anyone in business who is truly successful has learned this art. It means taking into consideration the feelings of others. It is realizing that other people are human and make mistakes. People sometimes make foolish decisions and unwise choices. Which one of us could say that we have not done the same thing?
When was the last time you made a mistake and had someone be harsh with you because of it? Did that help, or make matters worse? Now think again. When was the last time you did something wrong and someone “cut you some slack” and tried to help you learn from the experience rather than taking advantage of you in the situation?
This is not easy “stuff” and it is not for imperative people who have to be right and make sure they keep the upper-hand in everything that they do.
You may need some time to think about this Tip. It is not something that can be learned overnight. However, I can assure you that it pays rich dividends and creates long-term relationships.
I am not perfect and from time to time still “mess up” in business situations like this. But, I know as long as I strive to work well with people and do everything in my power to make sure that relationships are paramount, I will always have business…even more than I can keep up with! The same will be true for you as well.
Tip: It is okay to have a tender heart in business.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm