Management Clip: How to Project the Right Stuff
By Christine Corelli
As a business professional, your success is largely dependent upon your ability to build strong relationships with your customers, potential customers, suppliers, employees, vendors, and peers.
Business or personal, good relationships are built on a shared sense of trust. Without trust, you will never be able to establish or develop a quality relationship. Trust is the foundation for reliability, dependability, and good faith.
Trust evolves from honesty in all actions and transactions. Honesty is critical to building strong relationships. When things go wrong or if a problem occurs, honesty is always the best policy.
Own up to your mistakes or you will lose face. If you apologize sincerely, the person will be more likely to be understanding and accepting.
If you, or your company, begin an important strategic initiative but, you're not completely sure it will work, say so. People will respect your honesty. Be sure to add, "I'm not totally convinced it will work, but I'm asking for your support and commitment to do your best to support the decision.
If you are in sales, make sure you are upfront and honest from the very first day. Promise only what you know you can deliver. Better yet, always under-promise and over-deliver. If your price is higher than your competitors, make sure you tell your customer. Then review the quality and value they will receive with your company. Being completely honest will ensure trust.
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Display the highest moral standards; always do what's right. If you don't, you will pay the price. Think about those executives who did not live up to the highest moral standards and ended up on the front page of the business pagewith indictments. While this is a bit extreme for most people, being ethical is critical to your reputation.
Without integrity, you will never convince anyone that you are going to do what you say you are going to do. The old adages, "walking your talk," "practicing what you preach," or "doing unto others," reflect the importance of projecting integrity. Never stretch the truth or tell little white lies just to win people over. Practicing integrity also means never, however tempting, badmouthing a competitor. Living a life of integrity will prove worthwhile and bring some very good things in the long run.
Projecting the highest degree of professionalism is key to building strong relationships and making a positive impression. Interestingly, when asked, most people don't know how to define it or describe it.
If you want to influence people to follow your lead, buy your products, or listen to your ideas, speak with confidence. Refrain from dodging tough questions, or responding evasively when people ask questions regarding important matters. If you are uncertain about something, simply say that you will find out the facts and get back to them. If there is a decision that must be made, and you need to think about it, state that you want to give it some careful consideration before you respond.
While you want to appear confident; you also need project humilityeven if you are the boss. Consistently project that you do not see yourself as being superior to others. Too hard for you? Some of the most successful executives, managers, supervisors, and business owners project this quality routinely. They gain trust and strengthen relationships by taking themselves out of first place and giving that role to someone else.
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Be considerate to others. Call to let them know if you will be delayed even a few minutes. If you are in a leadership position, projecting consideration for your employees will draw your people closer to you and help gain their respect. Be flexible with working mothers. They have to do two jobs well. Ask how you can help them perform their day job more effectively.
Empathy goes beyond compassion. Here's the difference. Compassion is the ability to feel the way others feel. Empathy is having the ability to put yourself in another person's situation, experience their feelings and emotions, and project it back to them.
Dale Carnegie said, "Ego hunger is as universal and natural as the hunger for food. The body needs food to survive. The ego needs respect, approval and a sense of accomplishment."
If you want to learn how to inspire people, you simply need to be positive, provide positive reinforcement, speak in terms of positive outcomes, make people feel good about themselves, and bring out the best in them. If you are a leader, remember the key to employee motivation: Make your people feel they are working WITH you, and not for you.
Showing the Right Stuff
Whether you like it or not, people are always judging you. You need to work to acquire the qualities to ensure that you will be judged positively. In all aspects of your professional life, ask yourself these questions:
Sales Clip: No Return Calls? Try This Tip
Okay, so you gave a great presentation and sent in a quote. Then, called your prospect 3 times, every ten days, and left a highly professional voice mail each time. Still no return call. Try this: Send an e-mail with the subject being Q U I C K Q U E S T I O N, or V O I C E M A I L, or Q U O T E with a message that reads something like this:
Motivational Clip: Negative Thinking Has a Powerful Life of Its Own. So Does Positive Thinking
It's so easy to look around and notice what's wrong. It takes practice to focus on what's right. Negative thinking empowers problems, takes you out of harmony with others, sabotages and destroys the good things in life. It has a powerful life of its own.
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