The way you make me feel

Not me exactly but people in general. The late Maya Angelou said ‘…people will never forget how you made them feel’ and I’ve come to realise recently that she is absolutely right.

When you meet people, work with them, spend any time with them at all, the residual feelings tend to be more about who you are than what you said or did, this is the same when you move on to a new business role or a different company. People may not remember every project you worked on – each success or failure you experienced (they tend to remember the failures more but that’s another story), but they will recall what kind of person you are, how you conducted yourself and how you made them feel about themselves.

I remember a lot about the many people I’ve worked with and for at the different companies I’ve experienced, thankfully most of the memories are positive. All of the experiences have allowed me to learn! There have of course been a few colleagues and managers along the way who have made me feel disappointed; those for whom their personal values aren’t in line with mine, their work ethic and manners. The way they treat others fall short of how I expect grown ups to behave…. I am lucky enough though to have (in the main) mostly met people who are extremely empowering; giving others the tools and self-belief to be the best they possibly can. I have had the privilege to have experienced some excellent managers who truly made me feel valued and supported, and allowed me to flourish in my role. As I said, it’s the way they made me feel that I remember, not the individual projects we worked on together (although driving round Silverstone in a Ginetta G40 is an amazing experience I will never forget ).

With this being the case, surely it’s important that we act, in the work place, the home, our lives in general, in a way in which we would want to be remembered for. We should be kind, thoughtful, considerate and accepting of compromise where possible – all the behaviours we try to teach our children from a very early age. It seems to me that too many large businesses and corporations, and their ‘corporate’ employees, view situations solely in relation to ‘the bottom line’ or their business results when all the while business should be about people. Business, whether B2B or B2C involves contact with very real people who all have their own lives, emotions, issues and values, which should be respected.

I’m not saying that we should compromise our own ideas and beliefs for the sake of others’ but that we should do our best to consider how our words and actions may affect those with whom we do business. Just take extra second to pause for thought and think, ‘Do I want to be remembered for this….?’

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“I’m marvelous thanks, how are you?”

6 months ago when office colleagues asked me how I was as part of the usual morning greeting, that was my usual stock response. Said with either fake enthusiasm or very real sarcasm, some never could quite tell which, I felt that I should at least say positive words whether I meant them or not even if it was just wind people up!

Now when I say it, I mean it, I really do. It might sound trite but since leaving the corporate world I am much happier about work and basically life in general.

The transition to working from home is taking some adjusting to, more so than I expected if I’m honest. I used to work from home one day a week and found it to be a most productive day but when you’re at home all day (well it’s only school hours really but that’s a whole other blog post) every day it can be hard to focus on work rather than the household chores. I raised this with Mr P the other evening, who has worked from home for over 10 years now, and he says that at first it is tricky and that it takes some practice to be able to ignore the household chores while you’re meant to be working, but it would seem that this is an art he has perfected 😉

Whilst I do cherish being able to work from home and the fact that my business can be done at any time of day or night, I know I need to be careful that I don’t do just that, work all day and all night! I do love what I do and I think that even if it wasn’t the occupation that pays my bills, I would still be doing something creative but I know I need to be cautious not to become too blinkered. I love opportunities to leave the house, meet people, chat with them, see the ‘real’ world and use this to gain useful insights as to what the world is doing, what my customers and prospects want and where I can take my business.

At the moment ( I am only 4 months into this full time running a business malarkey) I am financially poorer than I was on a regular wage with paid sick, paid holidays, pension scheme etc… but I’m excited every day by the possibilities that lie ahead. Each day, even with my endless and detailed ‘to do’ lists, provides an opportunity for me to do my best and to develop my business my way. Money to fix the air bag squib on my car (who knew it one of those) eats into my budget more significantly and saving for holidays take more planning but we’re still having holidays and that’s no mean feat!

The financial uncertainty, the distraction by household necessities and even the price of an air bag squib eating into my savings are all welcome prices to pay to not suffer that ‘Sunday night dread’ that inevitably merges into Monday morning moroseness and just sets you up for an unfulfilled week of somebody else’s stress….  🙂