Crucial Skills: Friendliness

Just be friendlyThis is a great topic for a Monday morning post when most of us really don’t want to be thinking about work. But being friendly is incredibly important.

To be fair, this is harder for some personality types than others. But you don’t have to be an evanescent little ray of sunshine in order to not come across as a grumpy son of a bitch who is going to be hard to work with!

They say Nice Guys finish last, in life and especially in business. There is world view that this is just how the world is, and you need to act accordingly. But my 20-odd years of experience shows that, if you are a nice person, who is friendly, professional and who is not in it only for the money, people’s attitudes towards working with you change for the better.

We all like working with people we actually get on with. So make that easy. The world is changing, ideas like Triple Accountability and sustainability mean that business practices that require hard-nosed arrogance are falling out of vogue.

Besides, do you really want to have to deal with the on-going consequences of being the business person that no-one likes?

grumpy entrepreneur
No-one wants to work with this

5 Top Tips To Keep You Friendly
1) Keep the tone of your business communications a little more formal
Wait what?!??! Yes. Think about it. It’s so much easier to casually offend when you’re using slang and speaking informally. When you use slightly more formal language, you will automatically focus on using language more accurately and politely. You can always dial it down a lot when needed. It’s very hard to go up from slang ridden, casual prose.

2) Use please and thank you
Your mamma told you to do this for a good reason. Get respect by showing respect. Don’t just assume that you will get it. By using words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ you are showing that you value the time and input of those you are speaking with.

3) Smile
Wow. But yes, I have to say this one. Business can be stressful and we all are under pressure, but hell! Crack a smile, show people that you are more than just a calculating machine. Reach out a bit and make contact. You’ll be amazed.

4) Pay attention to details
It is human nature to assume that someone who remembers small detail about situations, clothing, previous conversations etc. is more interested in us and our work. Make sure you are not so distracted at all times that you do not notice the small details. It’s an amazing friendliness technique and a very powerful business tool.

It's so much easier to do business like this
It’s so much easier to do business like this

5) Show up on time, deliver on time
It’s just rude to always be late, both for meetings and in delivering your products or services. Do yourself a favour and find a way to stop doing it and watch the attitudes of your clients and friends towards you change.

Think about how you’d like to experience doing business with someone and act accordingly. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. As a self-employed individual, your relationships are your most important business asset. Make sure they are firm and sustainable… Try being a little more friendly if you aren’t already.

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