“You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” This is true in all aspects of life. Whether you are requesting a favor from a family member, managing a work relationship or asking the barista to make your cappuccino extra hot, people respond well to kindness. This is especially true in a position of leadership. Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what YOU want because THEY want to do it.” He held the rank of general but I don’t hear anything in there about giving orders.
Being nice isn’t always easy. Even the nicest people lose patience or get angry from time to time and I’m certain General Eisenhower had to dress down a few soldiers in his time. I’m not advocating that you adopt a Stepford wife’s saccharin sweet affectation as you go about your day but I believe strongly that a genuine interest in people and a smile is your best foot forward and I know that those attributes are the foundation of the leadership quote above.
The key here is consistency. “Turning on the charm” when you need something is manipulation and while you can fool some of the people some of the time, if your inner feelings don’t match your outward behavior that incongruence will show and more perceptive people will see what’s inside and respond accordingly.
Being nice carries through to business correspondence too. This week I got a note from Sears telling me that if I didn’t use my Sears card soon, they would cancel it. I thought, “So cancel it. I don’t even like Sears” Not so coincidentally as I listened to the radio later in the week I heard the business reporter say that Sears reported a loss of a half billion dollars. Perhaps a coupon to entice me in to the store would have been more effective…
2014 Motto: Mindful in every moment and grateful for every day