Welcome to this month’s newsletter.
This month I would like to talk about a very dangerous habit most of us share in our daily lives, both at home and at work. It’s a habit that chips away at our chance to do well each day. It’s the habit of turning a blind eye to something that needs to be done better. Let me explain.
Have you ever experienced any of the following situations?
- You are not really happy with the products or services of a company, but you don’t let them know how you feel and you just “put up with it” in silence;
- You are handed some low quality work from one of your colleagues, but you don’t bother to let that person know that the quality isn’t good enough.
Let’s face this, most of us have probably been in these situations before. It seems on the surface that we do these things, just because we want to be “nice” to other people. But if we dig a bit deeper, we probably would find that that the real reason we often turn a blind eye to other people’s unacceptable behaviour is that we hope the other person will be easy on us when we find ourselves in similar situations. It’s like we are saying “I won’t tell you your problems so you won’t tell me mine”. In doing so, we are kind of bribing other people to take it easy on us. In doing so, we actually lower our chances, and the chances of others to do well over time.
This “nice guy” syndrome is often widespread. You may find you experience it at work with your workmates. If you are working for one of these “nice guy” managers, recognise that he or she is simply being selfish, as they are often more interested in whether you like them than they are in doing the right thing for their group or upholding a good standard. Ironically you will find that most people like “nice guy” type managers for a short term, until the performance of the group gets so bad that they need to fire people. Then everyone starts blaming the “nice guy” managers for not being a bit more demanding on everyone’s performance and quality standards a lot earlier.
This can be true for a customer as well. Most customers want to be “nice guy” customers to their service providers. This is why very often they keep quiet about their inadequate customer experience and just put up with it. They keep doing this until things get really bad with their service provider because the service provider is often not even aware of how bad they are to their customers. In the end they just walk away, leaving the service provider completely puzzled, because they had really wanted to look after them as customers but didn’t know the real truth.
This can also happen to the service provider themselves. Most service providers want to be “nice guy” service providers to their customers. But very often when they see their customers going off track they don’t have the courage to bring them back into line. In the end they turn potentially good customers into ones that they no longer want as they are now being “difficult” customers.
It is not hard to see that when you turn a blind eye to other’s low standards in exchange for them turning a blind eye to your own low standards, we all end up doing ourselves in and reduce our chances to succeed, without even knowing it.
After 12 years in this business, I have learnt that most people want to be seen as a “nice guy” for selfish reasons, rather than simply doing the right thing for all parties concerned at the risk of being seen as a “bad guy”. So when you find a customer going out of their way to tell you about their bad experience, or a staff member going out of his or her way to tell you that they see an issue in your business, remember they are worth as much as a diamond for giving you a chance to help your group do so much better. The reason why they are worth as much as a diamond is that usually people who are willing to demand other people uphold a high standard are more likely to be prepared to do the same themselves. They are not afraid of revenge or being disliked. All they care about is that the group does really well rather than their own self interest. When you find these people in your client base or as staff within your company, why wouldn’t you treat them like a diamond?
Until next month, happy investing.