Oct 09 2012

The 2nd of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

BUSINESS & POLITICS DON’T MIX!

                                                                      

Best Advice: Speak out in private, but hold your tongue in public! Customers and others you do business with may or may not agree with your politics, but the odds appear overwhelming that they do not want to hear your political views as part of any business transaction.

Treat every opportunity to speak out in accusation of your political opponents or in defense of your political favorites as you might instinctively deal with dysfunctional elements of your own family at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

In other words, exercise greater caution, discretion and respect than you would normally be inclined to, for the welfare of the rest of your family, and for the betterment of your own well-being and stress level. Save confrontations for when you become a professional boxer or hockey star.

“But it’s my right, my privilege, and my responsibility to speak up!” Well, okay, you may think you’re entitled, even required, to express your personal political preferences. And you are certainly entitled to your opinions, but if you own or manage a business, there’s simply no room for political opinion!

Every time you open your political mouth, you risk losing a minimum of 100 customers because anyone who disapproves will tell ten others,who will each tell ten others. Can you afford this kind of loss?

How do I know all this? Because I’ve had a big political opinion mouth in one of my past lives and it cost me substantial business. “Who cares?” you might say. Well, it may be costing you too!

The problem is that while you may not care about someone who’s critical of you offering editorials– critical of your criticism, so to speak– you maybe need to care a great deal about someone who’s related to, or controlled by that individual, and there’s just no way to ever know when some big mouth comment will come back to haunt you.

Taking the low road is not always a bad thing. Low road activity is often read in a positive light by others. Non confrontative attitudes typically produce positive reputation assessments of virtue: “humble;” “reserved;” “rational;” “objective;” non judgemental;” and “thoughtful” come to mind. It’s the sign of someone who walks the talk!

So, now, even if I’m only half right, wouldn’t you prefer those kinds of reputation attributes to “opinionated;” and “loudmouthed;” and “narrow-minded;” and “confrontative;” and “pushy”?

Bottom Line:

Work for your favorite candidates,

but don’t bring your favorite candidates to work!  

                                                           

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HAL ALPIAR Writer/Consultant 302.933.0911 TheWriterWorks.com, LLC
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Sep 19 2010

BUSINESS DIPLOMACY

Loose Lips DO Sink Ships . . .

When to keep your

                                          

mouth shut, and how.

 

You’re a self-confident entrepreneur, maybe even cocky. The likelihood is that you have a high sense of self-esteem and a big fat ego that sometimes gets in the way of your success —  an ego that you find yourself tripping over every once in awhile.

Your $50-necktie-and-$100-white-shirt corporate brother-in-law thinks you’re a smart-ass know-it-all. The guy you’ve been busting a gut trying to get business from can’t get past the fact that you’ve been everywhere, done everything, and have the same amount (or more) experience that he has. People who work for you start to yawn when you begin ticking off your accomplishments.

                                                                              

“A time for everything under heaven”

is true for sure.

But believing it and acting it

may be two separate issues.

                                                                                          

How hard is it to keep your mouth shut when a customer, prospect, employee, or supplier starts offering an opinion on something you see differently, based on your firsthand knowledge?

Do you shut down your listening skills because you’re in a hurry to impress the other person that you already know the details, the scoop, the inside story, the whatever?

If any of this sounds even vaguely familiar, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Consider that no one likes to be upstaged. No one likes not being heard or paid attention to.

Try asking questions instead of offering opinions. Remember that true entrepreneurs who start and run successful ventures seek always to find others smarter than they are to run and manage their operations 

                                                                     

Surely you’ve heard some grandparent

warn a child to “hold your tongue!”

                                                             

It’s actually very good and often productive advice. Try putting the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth (it’s very hard to speak coherently that way) when someone else starts in on a subject about which you consider yourself well-informed.

It will force you to pay attention and wait. It will force you to take the time to present your ideas in a less offensive, more productive manner.       

If someone else is trying to impress you, it almost always means that that person is already impressed with you.

If the exchangeis a potentially good one for either and/or both of you, tolerance may get you more respect than rebuttals or one-upmanship. Respect generates trust and cooperation and sales. Information presented in a way that others might interpret as bragging does not.

                                                                         

Leadership is about balance.

                                                                             

Balanced communications is the magic combination that opens the lock. Listening, active listening — eye contact, nodding, expressing agreement and understanding, asking for examples and diagrams, questioning instead of telling and offering opinions, paraphrasing, taking notes, showing genuine interest and concern — are leadership behaviors that create balance. 

Anytime you’re tempted to pounce on a discussion topic with with a tsunami of personal experience, supportive data, resource recommendations, evidence you consider conclusive to support your position . . . STOP! Ask yourself if you are more interested in impressing someone with how much you know or are capable of, than you are with growing or boosting your business.

                                                                                                    

When you can respond instead of react,

you can never over-react!

  

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

31 responses so far

Nov 15 2009

BUSINESS AND RELIGION: FIRE AND ICE?

If Jesus Christ

                  

runs your business 

                                                                 

 . . . look before you leap!

 

                                                      

     If you believe Jesus runs your business,  God Bless You, but be careful about how you represent yourself. It’s probably a fair estimate to say that a good deal more than half the world could care less about your religious persuasion as a business owner or manager.

     It’s probably also a fair estimate to say  that in most parts of the United States, and especially the major cities, there is even a pointed resistance — and even an antagonistic and spiteful attitude — toward religious (Christian) based businesses.

     Reality: Many non-believers are threatened.  Many dismiss you condescendingly as “just another Jesus Freak.” Many will go out of their way to not do business with you. Some will try to undermine your business efforts.

     That doesn’t mean you should give it up.  It does mean you should be careful. It means you and your spirituality will be best served by exercising Christian values in everything you do and every encounter you have without necessarily advertising them.

     All the time?  No. There are some times and places–and many ways–where it’s appropriate to publicize your beliefs where it won’t cost you business or relationships. You may not like having to “hold your tongue” but reality dictates that it’s sometimes best for your self and your business to not be making public proclamations about your religious orientations. As for ways to do it, HOW you say what you say is the key.

     Certainly, Jesus would advise  tolerance when confronted with contentiousness? Remember that the bottom line is if you believe you and your business are serving Jesus, you will best serve by passive accommodation: i.e., a “customer is always right” focus, which of course works for EVERY business.

     If your business is a local or regional one  that is located in a heavily Christian community, then you can be much freer in expressing your interests and affiliations than in a geographical area not as uniformly receptive to your mission.

     Of course you can be a rebel-rouser  and charge into the marketplace brandishing a religious banner, but you will be risking the prospective success of what your business existence is all about.

     Is closing up shop  worth you having made a lot of noise about the principles your business is founded on? Remember: When your doors close, so does your ability to contribute!

                                                                                                                                        

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  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

   Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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