Business is About Relationships: Make People Feel Good Today

In: BlogDate: Mar 01, 2012By: Henry Stewart

In my last post, I talked about how the principle “people work best when they feel good about themselves” should be at the core of how your company is managed. This principle can be extended to everybody you work with.

My colleague Diye Wariebi, whose Digibridge company provides our technical support, gave a great example. One of his clients owed him money and Diye described how he changed his debt-collecting strategy after borrowing a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People from our bookshelf.

This classic book, written by Dale Carnegie in the 1930s, encourages you to understand the people you work with and to walk in their shoes. “I had been chasing this debt for weeks,” explains Diye, “and it was getting increasingly antagonistic. I had threatened legal action and he [the client] had responded with, “See you in court.””

Diye says: “After reading the book, I took a different approach. I knew he had been having a difficult time and there had been health problems in his family. So I emailed him in a supportive way and then we talked on the phone. I expressed my concern and my understanding that he had been having a difficult time and asked if there was any way I could help.

“We had a really good talk and I think that meant something to him because I know others had been giving him a really hard time. I didn’t mention the debt at all. But, you know what, within a few days I got a cheque for £1,000 in the post. And, just today, I got a second one paying the debt off in full. Treating him as a friend and trying to understand where he was coming from resulted in my bill getting paid. And hopefully we will continue to do business together for many years.”

Think about the people you work with – those who work with you and your customers and your suppliers. Where could you make more of a real personal connection that would make life better for you and them?

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Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd. Following a fairly disastrous job early on in his career, Henry was determined to discover what enabled a productive and happy workplace. In 1987 Henry set up what was originally called Happy Computers. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy. His book, the Happy Manifesto, was published by in 2013.

Outside of work he is a father of three, Chair of Governors at his local comprehensive in Hackney and a keen cyclist.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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