No mirages, no carnival mirrors, what you see is what you get. There’s no photoshop in real life. And there’s definitely no photoshop for the soul. That means we get to see the good, the bad and the pretty awful in people sometimes. (Of course the same view of us is available to them.)
As business owners, we see a lot of people everyday. We see them do great things for our organizations, we see them make customers happy, we see them grow in their capabilities, but we also see the things we wish we could un-see. The things that make us shake our heads in disbelief.
But what we see and how we view people are two very different things.
And how we view people will determine what we receive in return, no tot mention what others receive from them. Let me explain.
I recently sat down with a life-long business owner to ask him his three things, as part of a book I’m conducting research for. (Don’t get excited, this book will take a couple years.)
One of his things: It’s so important how you view people.
Do you view people with the same love, dignity and respect that Jesus viewed people with? (This business owner operates from a place of faith in God, but anyone can view people this way if they choose to.) The impact is enormous.
Think about it. What if you, as a business owner or employee, viewed everyone you came in contact with as someone worthy of love, dignity and respect?
- How would it alter your organization?
- How would that change your interactions?
- How would it impact communities?
If you developed your organizational culture around this premise of viewing people with this way, it has the potential to go far beyond the success of your business.
As business owners, it’s easy to get cynical. There are angry customers who want refunds; vendors who don’t keep their promises; employees who leave us after we invest in them. After enough repeat offences from the human race, the callouses start to grow thick on your heart, and this affects how you view people.
I have seen it both ways. I have seen business owners who think everyone is out to cheat them, and they treat their employees, customers and vendors horribly. And I have seen business owners who think like the person I interviewed and the environment of their company is the complete opposite of toxic.
So how do you do this? How do make this lasting impact in your people, your company, and your communities?
Here are 3 ways to help you get started:
1. Model it first
As the leader goes, so goes the company. You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again. Without you as the leader modeling this viewpoint of people first, there will be no impact.
As leaders, we cannot ask for what we don’t practice.
That’s why this is #1 on the list. Start by a change in mindset. Every morning decide ahead of time that everyone you some in contact with is worthy of love, dignity and respect.
Then set out to live it.
Is doesn’t mean you become a doormat, instead you become a doorway. People will live up to the expectations you have for them. If you expect them to be worthy and treat them as such, they will respond.
2. Make it part of your culture
Once you’ve modeled it, you can integrate it into your culture. Make it a part of your core values. Define it, make it actionable and reward-able. (If you aren’t sure who to do that, I can help.)
Do not allow anyone to compromise it. If an employee treats a fellow employee, customer, or vendor differently, put the kibosh on it.
Integrating this value of viewing others with love, dignity and respect may mean that you lose a few employees, or customers. In the long run, it’s worth it.
I once had a vendor who chose to lie to me in order to get an additional order before the end of the year. I called him on it, and never ordered from that company again. It took several months to find another vendor who supplied that product. But I had a “no compromise” rule, and I stuck to it. In the end I found a better product at a better price from a company who aligned with our values.
3. Watch the ripple effect
This is the fun part, now you get to watch the effects of your value initiative.
It will start in your company, people will start to treat each other better. You will have less office politics and more a positive environment. (Provided you follow the no compromise rule)
It will spread to your customers and vendors. Now people will want to do business with you because of the experience and the way they are treated, not just because you have a great product or service. You will create loyal, raving fans this way.
It will spread to your communities. What would happen if you got yelled and screamed at, and treated poorly every day you come to work? Chances are you would be in a constant state of stress and unhappiness. You would bring this frustration home to your family. They in turn would bring it into their spheres of influence.
Conversely, what would happen if you were treated with love, dignity and respect everyday? What if you were valued? You would be in a state of joy and contentment. You would bring that joy home to your family. They in turn would bring joy into their spheres of influence.
This is the far-reaching effect that goes beyond your business. This is where the real impact is found.
Are you ready to start today?
Are you willing to decide to treat everyone you meet with love, dignity and respect?
Are you prepared for the positive impact that will result?
How have you tried something like this before? What was the result?