Trust is the Most Valuable Currency in Business
NON- CONFRONTATIONAL LEADERS INITIATE UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS
Great leaders get in front of an uncomfortable situation instead of running from it. When the shit hits the fans during a business apocalypse many people choose not to address it until they absolutely have too. Having an uncomfortable conversation is a sign of maturity and not insecurity. In that defining moment, you will build trust which is the most valuable currency in business and with your team. When business associates and team members see that you can admit to being human while leading, they will often come along side and help you to find a solution.
I learned the power of this approach for myself when I kept a client in an uncomfortable situation. When I was in the electronic payment and point of sale software business, I had a sales person misrepresent our solution to a restaurant chain. He was in his first year with my company and didn’t understand the complexity of the client’s needs. I did a good job in vetting this person when I hired him and he came to me when he realized what had happened. It was early in the sales cycle and the deliverables hadn’t been implemented yet. I contacted the key person at the restaurant chain and arranged for a meeting. I explained that the solution presented, would not perform the way that they needed it to. We talked more about their long- term goals and vision. My team and the restaurant’s IT people came up with another solution that cost more than the original package price. I heavily discounted the system and kept the client. We lost a little money but gained the trust of the client. In the long run, my approach was rewarded by many referrals of profitable clients.
This character enhancing experience was beneficial to all concerned. The client saw that they had a trusted partner in their success. My salesperson felt safe in admitting his mistake as a result of the culture of trust that I had built. I also demonstrated to the team member that our mission statement of integrity was put to the test and passed.
Being the non-confrontational leader that I am, it is difficult for me to open the door to the cage of the 500 -pound gorilla. There isn’t always a happy outcome like the restaurant illustration. In fact, sometimes the outcome is awful. But having the mindset of doing the next right thing keeps me on track in being true to myself. Keeping my compass calibrated helps me from living in fear and anxiety of dealing with the inevitable uncomfortable situation.
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