With the new year upon us, so many people focus on changing their appearance and health with the ultimate goal of improving their happiness. In fact, estimates show that 45 million Americans go on a diet every year – many of them right after the holidays. Alongside those lofty aspirations, I also like to consider other ways that might affect my emotional wellbeing, such as improving my work and personal relationships. I believe these daily interactions play a significant role in our lives and can be integral to making improvements for the upcoming year.
The three qualities I consider most important are honesty, dependability, and the ability to learn from mistakes. At work, these are key for everyone on my team, including me. As a leader, I know none of us are perfect – least of all me – but these clear expectations are all I’ve ever asked of a person in the workplace or in my personal life.
Be honest. It’s really quite simple – Don’t lie, cheat, or omit pertinent information. Tell me the whole truth when I ask a question. Trust is a key foundation to any relationship, and honesty is just one pillar in that foundation. In business, this not only applies to your coworkers, but also your clients.
As a consumer, I have paid more for a service simply because I trusted the company or salesperson more than I did another. Integrity has value beyond the price of goods or services. I recently requested several quotes for windows in my home and two of the sales reps were all about the flashy sales pitch. The third showed me the goods and then told me to take my time in making a decision. Then he shared with me that their sales are always in the spring and that costs go up about 3% per year so I could budget for this year or wait until later if that worked better for me. Guess who I’ll call when I’m ready to install windows?
Be dependable. Be punctual, meet deadlines, follow up, and do what you say you will do. Be the person others count on because they know you have their back. Life happens sometimes and we have to change plans due to uncontrollable circumstances. Prepare in advance as much as possible, and call ahead if you need to change an appointment. It might be disappointing, but it’s much better than arriving late or not showing up at all. At work, I really appreciate it when a group is working on a project and everyone involved provides updates along the way. It sets expectations, keeps everyone on task, and results in a smoother workflow.
Learn from your mistakes. No one is perfect, but continuing to make the same mistakes is unacceptable. How did this mistake occur? Do you need training or education? Are you distracted? How can you make changes so it doesn’t happen again? It is much easier to work with someone who proactively acknowledges a mistake and outlines the steps to correct it quickly and appropriately. I’m sure you’ve worked with a vendor or a person who refuses to own up to a mistake – it is frustrating. When a mistake happens, strive to diligently make things right and ensure it won’t happen again. This is a bedrock of great client service and translates to personal relationships, as well.
Focusing on these three foundational aspects of your relationships this year will lead to exceptional outcomes for you and those around you, whether they’re at work or at home. You might just see other benefits, too, from implementing them. What are you focusing on this year?
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