“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you’ll meet the same people on the way down”, Wilson Mizner
Firstly I’d like to get two things clear, I’m not saying I’m a nice guy although I do try to treat people with respect, the same way that I’d like to be treated; I suppose that’s the crux of it. So I would like to think I’m ‘nice’, a ‘hot cup of tea’ nice after a long walk in the rain but that is really up to others to judge, after all self recommendation is no recommendation at all really is it?
Secondly, I’m not encouraging a doormat mentality. There is a difference between showing someone kindness and letting a person trample all over you, taking advantage of what they may think is a soft target. If you feel someone is doing that then you should let the person know that you aren’t happy with the way they have treated you, even if ultimately you need to end the relationship.
There is a common misconception in business, one that I actually believed a few years ago that people need to be ruthless in order to achieve and be successful. People feel the need to run the rat race, perhaps are unkind and looking out for their own interests. In fact often in marketing messages we are fed the line that we need to take what we want if we want it, we deserve it after all.
Some may of course be successful with this kind of mentality, stepping up the career ladder or growing their business to a point that they are proud of; but at what cost? Who did they have to step on whilst climbing the ladder ?
Business and in fact life is all about connecting with others, establishing relationships along the way that either last a lifetime or sometimes just a moment. It’s how you treat people with whom you have begun a relationship which determines how you will be seen by those people. Sometimes it’s about lending a helping hand when it’s not really expected, being a sounding board to a wacky idea or the simplest but perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is to just to care about that person!
By living this way you will establish strong relationships with people that care about you as well. They will be your network of friends and business contacts who may just return the favour to you one day when you are in need.
As opportunities arise in their world and it’s an opportunity that they think you would take with open arms, they will be more inclined to put you forward, and not only that, a loyalty will have developed which will have them fighting in your corner and being your ambassador.
I suppose in brief I’m trying to say, if you spend a bit less time taking and a bit more time giving, you will actually receive a lot more than you expect.