I hadn’t intended for my first post to be about such a serious topic, but felt compelled to pen a few words about the issue of respect and particularly respect in business.
The last few days have seen the resignation of our local Sevenoaks MP, Sir Michael Fallon, as Secretary of State for Defence following behaviour below the standards expected today. Several others in positions of power have also been accused of abusing their position.
When working on a website for a new customer earlier today I was interrupted by my landline – yet another unwanted sales call (you know how they go “this is not a sales call ma’am”, “we are working for the Government”, “as a homeowner you should qualify for a grant for …”) I get too many of these each week and really resent the intrusion/waste of my precious time.
I don’t think society is any less respectful today (although the older generation may disagree), but it strikes me that some people don’t know where acceptable boundaries are.
As small businesses, it is up to us to demonstrate how to behave. So here are our rules:
- Respect your customer’s data. Don’t sell it to anyone else. Don’t inundate their inboxes with too many emails (once a week is enough). Don’t cold call.
- Respect other people’s time. It is no less important than yours. Turn up to meetings, calls etc on time (ok – we have difficulty with this one!)
- Respect information. Information which is confidential should stay that way – don’t share it with anyone else. Don’t have conversations about confidential information where you can be overheard either.
- Respect the opinion of other people. Listen to customers and listen to people who work for you (or supply you) – they have skills, ideas and opinions which are valuable too. As I tell my daughter you have two ears and only one mouth – that’s the proportion you should use them (her response was that her mouth is so much bigger than her ears…)
- Respect your community. Make sure your business is a positive addition to the community.
- Respect your family. They deserve your attention too! Set boundaries, set a time to stop working (turn off your phone, or at least mute it and don’t continually look at it) and give them your full attention.
- Respect yourself. Don’t say yes to everything. Take time to exercise, eat (properly – not on the go), relax (read a book, watch trashy tv) and of course sleep…
- Above all, treat others as the human beings that they are…
Oh, and don’t keep touching someone else’s knee…
I promise the next post will be more lighthearted!
If you liked this then try our other blog posts.