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Relationship Improvements Come Through You

Leo Tolstoy. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." [Quotes of the Day]

Expecting your company to change behavior to rapidly adopt relationship-based methods is ludicrous. Behaviors that influence the way individuals interact with others is one of the few change efforts that start at the top. You must change your own relationships if you want employees to follow suite.

Embrace the strategies shared here and the people around you will notice. Small changes in your behavior will be modeled in your staff. People won't follow hypocrisy willingly, so the best way to bring others along is to embrace these changes in yourself.

Positive change in the value of customer relationships doesn't come by demanding your employees take measure to build customer relationships. Using abstract statements only creates resistance that delay true results. Instead, ask your employees at all levels;

  1. What do positive customer relationships look like?
  2. What can we do to build customer relationships?
  3. How will we know when customer relationships improve?
  4. What can I do to improve relationships inside the company?

Develop more questions relevant to your own business. As an executive, take time to ask questions then listen to the answers. When you hear something that might work, you will influence more improvements by trying the suggestion yourself. There will be some things you can't do, and will have to assign a team to it, but make every effort to monitor progress.

By being involved in change, you show your employees that you (a) believe in what is being done, (b) it's important to you as far as the company is concerned, and (c) you aren't afraid of a little short-term discomfort to reach long-term objectives. After all, if it's worth your time to improve customer relationships, then it's worth their time.

Expecting others to change without taking your own efforts is a weak excuse for inaction. If you want real change in the relationships around you, you will have to be involved from the beginning. Let your actions set an example for all.

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By Justin Hitt at December 8, 2003 12:24 PM  Subscribe in a reader

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