Taking the High Road, a Position of Utmost Integrity
“Competitors in our market are always bad-mouthing us.” So tell me something novel. Part of being a successful team is getting used to the loneliness. Often successful business people are frustrated by the way their local peers treat them. My input? Given the choice between the road some peers are traveling, and a position of the utmost integrity, I’ll go for the high road (integrity).
I’ll be candid with you – it’s not easy. Ever had the urge to spit back at a snippy client and put them in their place? I hope you never acted on it! The best way to offset a negative attitude is with positive actions. Let your professionalism speak for itself.
Here are some examples of how to maintain your (and your team’s) professionalism.
Responding to Gossip
When a client says, “Other (competitors) said… about you and your team,” don’t defend or retaliate. Stay grounded, because you know what your truth is. How about this response instead? “I regret we haven’t had the opportunity to share our systems with them so they could make an informed decision.” If you want to take it to the next level, send an invitation to that competitor to join you in a tour of your operations.
I recently came across a quote that said, in essence, you don’t know whether other people are incompetent. And if you do know, what value is there to be gained in sharing that information? While someone else’s shortcomings may make for entertaining conversation, in the long run, you only serve to hurt others and yourself by airing what you know.
The Blame Game
When things aren’t running smoothly, it’s so easy to blame outside sources for your problems. Take responsibility instead. People will appreciate your ownership and accountability. “I take personal responsibility for changing the direction of events, Ms. Client, and I will keep you informed along the way. Fair enough?”
Let’s say you’re a real estate agent… if you showed another agent’s property and they’re out of brochures, call them and let them know right away. Would you like to know? If you drive past someone’s yard sign and it’s fallen over, stop and straighten it. Elevating your competitors elevates your profession, and in turn, positively reflects on you.
How do you want to be remembered? As the professional who gave it all, or the one who held it back? The power of a positive gesture carries far more weight than you realize. Seek to find new ways to maintain the high-road path.
Business Coach at McLean International
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