Why I Like Aretha….

11 May

Last summer in the middle of the worst business downturn in my experience, I fired a client.  Why?  He sent me the most disrespectful email I have ever received.  I wasn’t surprised as we were working on his management style and he had a reputation for needing to always have a scapegoat.  For several days I asked myself had been disrespectful to him before I did the deed.

In almost 26 years of consulting I have learned about five very important things.  The foremost is: Almost all people in all settings want to be treated with respect.  Always make this your default setting when working with others: Treat people with respect.  It’s usually easy to spot respecters; they use words such as please and thank you.

Every aspect of your life will be better if you surround yourself with such people.  Never forget what you give is what you get.

If you live or work with dis-respecters; try kindness, a special form of respect.  It will either change them or drive them bonkers.  Remember, people who are disrespectful basically don’t like or respect themselves.  This is why they seek to aggrandize themselves at your expense.

Last week I introduced TED.  The next day I found “Build a tower, build a team” to TED.  It’s fun and informative.  Try it on and see if it fits.

Listen to an interview with John about Beyond Luck.



2 Responses to “Why I Like Aretha….”

  1. Scott May 21, 2010 at 5:59 am #

    As I read your post, I cheered at your actions. I also noted with dismay, but not surprise, that your former client chose to email you the disrespectful message. Email is a very effective communication tool, but not often an effective tool in managing conflict. More often than not, I’ve found email messages escalate conflict and increase tension.

    I’d love to read more from you on effective communication. One place I’ve already visited is your book, Beyond Luck, and I think there’s great stuff in there.


  1. Optimism #4: The Small Kindness vs. the Micro-Insult « Managers Into Leaders - July 20, 2010

    […] these small events have a disproportionate effect on our mood and thus on our performance.  In an earlier blog I mentioned firing a client because working with him left me exhausted and […]

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