Nov 10 2009


Blow the sale or


hold your tongue?


Diplomacy: Skill and tact in dealing with people

It’s comin’ ’round agin… the ole trainin’ ground fer dip-lo-macy. Yup! Thanksgivin’ gatherin’s.

Now if you can get through the entire dysfunctional-family -Thanksgiving-experience this year (especially this year with the sucky economy and your brother-in-law crabbing about the price of gas to drive to your house to eat), you will have earned a medal.

But –more importantly —  you will have completed the qualifying round for your annual refresher training on how to deal diplomatically with your internal and your external customers! (Internal: associates, employees, referrers, alumni, key suppliers; External: customers / clients / guests / patients, other suppliers, industry and community organizations, and the media) Maybe missing someone here, but you get the idea.

IF you can deal with your in-laws,  little kids terrorizing your dog and spilling unknown fluids on your furnishings and floor coverings, your uncle ranting about his adolescence (which he’s still in), your aunt Tilly reminiscing about her last 47 Thanksgivings, the neighbor’s kid revving up his overhauled Mustang next to your only broken window, and having to step over eleven spastic bodies glued to some idiotic football game on the TV that separates you from the only available bathroom, while hearing that four hours into the roasting process, the turkey still has ice inside of it

… YOU are ready to sell (No, not your house! Your products and services!)

How do we know this?  Because you’ve managed to deal with all of that and not be in jail, or the nuthouse! Somehow, you’ve risen to the occasion, kept the peace, swallowed your pride, bitten your gums and held your tongue (doing the last three items at the same time, by the way, is a pretty good trick!)

So what will you have learned  on the Thanksgiving firing line? There are times to speak and there are times to listen. EVERYONE is a prospective or repeat customer. EVERYone. Your appearance and demeanor and receptivity will determine whether others have a good time or not. Too much alcohol can undo the best of intentions. Too much food will give you a stomachache. Not stepping outside into the fresh air periodically will give you a headache (but avoid the side of the house with the revving Mustang!)

Every day is a new opportunity to do the best that you can do.  Thanksgiving, besides being a truly great opportunity to appreciate family and friends and all the brave young servicemen and servicewomen who make it possible to be able to gather together in the first place. It is also a great day to practice diplomacy and carry that renewed spirit forward in returning to your work.

OR, hey, don’t wait ’til the end of the month;  just read about it here, today, and start holding your tongue tomorrow! Sales are only made by listening! 

# # #  Thanks for visiting.

Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!

One response so far

Aug 03 2009


NO business is worth


your family!


     With the odds for success practically in the minus zone, it’s a wonder that family businesses–including, of course, formal partnerships–ever survive at all, never mind continue to be born on a daily basis.

     I mean I’ve always thought human beings were gluttons for punishment, especially in business and especially in family life. And here we have a non-stop wave of people actually putting the two lunatic fringes together, and calling them “family businesses.” 

     Maybe instead of LLC (for Limited Liability Corporation), these undertakings (pardon the expression) should be designated LMD (for Limited Maniacal Dysfunctionality).

     What kind of a nut case do you have to be to go into business with your brother-in-law? You never liked each other to start with. He’s a lazy good-for-nothing snail brain who prefers sitting in the back room watching TV and drinking beer to waiting on customers and stocking shelves.

     Oh, you’re a law firm? Sorry. Actually, that makes it all a whole lot worse; arguing over a TV and can of beer is nothing compared to suits and counter suits… and bad suits. Husband and wife team? HA! For how long?

     It takes a VERY special relationship for a couple, or any family members, to make things work in a business setting. There are natural authority and responsibility levels attached to family membership that almost necessarily spill over into the business.

     Family business partners need to work harder at not taking business too far into home life. It’s a good idea for couples to paint a red line across the bedroom doorway (one couple I know uses yellow “CAUTION” tape) to serve as a conscious reminder to separate business from personal life.

     Talking through business-related issues before heading home should be a goal if you want your personal relationship to stay healthy. When something needs to come home for discussion, do it in a home office, or porch or basement or backyard, but keep it away from the kitchen, the bedroom, the family room, and the dinner table.

     It takes two to tango goes the old expression; it takes two to drag business into personal home space. CHOOSE to detach yourself from potential confrontations. Home office? Keep it there when you leave the workspace. You need to work at this together. It doesn’t happen by itself.

     Father & Son, Mother & Daughter, Husband & Wife, Brothers & Sisters, In-Laws, Cousins, Aunts & Uncles: Talk to each other about it. More importantly, LISTEN to each other about it. RESPECT each other’s privacy and need for quiet time.

     When you push the limits, you push the relationships, and if one collapses, it all collapses. If you’re going to do this insane family business thing, do it in a spirit of cooperation and trust and mutual respect. Maybe then, you have a chance of making it work!     

# # #  

Hal@Businessworks.US  or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

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