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A Little Generosity Goes a Long Way

by fatweb

Daniel Nixon

Managing Director of Foundation One
www.foundationone.co.nz

Of all that I’ve learned over the years in providing services to property and facilities owners, one thing stands out. And that is to work from a generosity of spirit.
That means offering your knowledge, time, credit, power, information and faith.
An efficiency expert might say time spent doing this could be spent more productively. But mean-spirited efficiency sends the message, “I’m not that interested in you”.
Ekaterina Walter, an occasional contributor for Forbes, is often asked how she achieved success and recognition. Her answer: generosity.
It’s about being willing to give a piece of yourself, or offering an invaluable gift of your time and expertise, or extending your network to others.
It’s about making someone else successful first. It’s about connecting people who share passions and aspirations. All without expecting something back.
A lot of companies dismiss this simple, but invaluable insight. Strange, really, since this golden rule of business has proven itself over and over again.
The opposite is a mindset of scarcity or coolness, where every dollar has to be counted and guarded and warmth given out sparingly. A scarcity mindset also risks condescension and other modes of disrespect.
Generosity may increase some costs a bit and use more of your time, but if people become loyal to you, and/or refer others to you, you’ll have built a virtuous cycle.
Another way generosity operates is putting the happiness of clients first. This means everyone in your business knows that when deciding the right thing to do, having a happy client is the key consideration.
A computer business complained about users contacting the company only to “moan about a fault and then expect us to solve it immediately”, and complaining about the expectations of the board.
It was suggested the business should look at the language it was using. Rather than referring to “the business”, “the board” and “end-users”, it should see “clients” or “customers”. “You should be working together, not staring at each other with a mutual lack of sympathy,” said their advisor.
If a client is upset, a generous mindset will help you handle the emotion without getting tangled in it.
We Kiwis have a tendency to get defensive if someone is upset, or just to dodge the issue. But if you talk to an upset or cross client the right way, with respect and truly addressing the heart of the problem, she or he may well become your best advocate.

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