It was 2014, I was the subject of a professional witness examination as part of maintaining my qualifications as a lead auditor. The person examining me was an elderly colleague, these kind of examinations are usually a serious faced encounter where you are effectively walking on eggshells. However I had taken my time to prepare and as always I felt the best way to pass through the process successfully was to be myself as I had ample confidence in my abilities, and so right from the start I gave him a very warm welcome and tried to make the environment a bit more at ease than it would typically be.
I gave him a very warm welcome and tried to make the environment a bit more at ease than it would typically be
By the time we completed the audit witness at the end of a full day he had gotten to know my full background and work experience particularly in food safety and I had found out that his son was recently appointed as a senior manager for the Audit organisation we both were delivering a service for. He would later drop a word about me to his son who stated that at that time they desperately really needed support for managing their food safety programs and within weeks I was signed up as the technical expert to support the process from that date till now I have provided a range of consultancy support to that organisation and we have just agreed a deal for our company to provide training on behalf of that organisation at least for the next couple of years.
That singular encounter with his dad whom i did not know from Adam have been worth a significant amount to our business. With this and many similar situations, I realised as has been commonly said that business is about relationships; and of course relationships is about people. Unfortunately sometimes this is interpreted to mean that it is only the people that have charisma and can be the life of the party that have a higher chance of business success. I am not one of those! But I have discovered that simply being myself and taking a genuine interest in the people around me, asking questions and remembering those things that seems to matter to them the most; is a critical thing in maintaining great relationships that can be good for business.
I was signed up as the technical expert to support the process from that date till now I have provided a range of consultancy support to that organisation
But the unfortunate thing is that most business people are consumed by the desire to make money and profit and therefore view people even family and friends from the perspective of what benefit those people can yield them. If you are able to put your business ‘greed’ aside and take interest in people simply for whom they are, in more times than one you will also get their business and if you don’t, at least you will earn their warmth and respect for a long time. That seems to me a good deal. I now enjoy doing this where ever I can so much that I know, the challenges the lady who cleans our shared office area has with her two daughters and I get updated when the son of one of our clients whose aim is to get to hollywood is listed in the film credits of some of the newly released cinema blockbusters. It is fun to take genuine interest in people!
It is fun to take genuine interest in people!
By the way, I passed the audit examination in flying colours.