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Get Personal Before the Going Gets Tough

August 10, 2011

Having a great client is a wonderful thing, especially when they love you back!

I completed a 3-month project recently.  On my last day, my client brought her daughter (“T”) to the office.  We worked for a few hours, and then hit the town for pizza and a visit to the Museum of American Finance (an obvious choice for us financial folks).  T also made me a new business card – a rebranding if you will.

Beyond clients loving my work, I prize these personal experiences the most because they signify trust and friendship.  The workplace demands professionalism, which can mislead us to think that we must discard our personal lives at work.  This is a dangerous attitude in an environment where organizations are making big changes to adapt to the new competitive landscape – become lean, divest/acquire, restructuring, etc.  The bigger the change, the more team members have to rely on and trust each other to successfully deliver.  Building trust takes time, and is infinitely harder when teammates don’t have the opportunity to know each other at a personal level.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    August 11, 2011 8:31 am

    Absolutely agreed! While balancing professional and personal is not always easy, showing “personal” side is always inevitable in today’s environment and people frequently judge on the “personal” side of each of us.

  2. Dave Grenier permalink
    August 12, 2011 10:04 pm

    I have taken a very different approach to management in my career which has proven very successful to this stage. I make the analogy from this quote “You treat a disease, you win, you loose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” from the movie/life of Patch Adams.

    Of course, you have to determine clear boundaries to be successful, but if you focus more on the heart of the professional in front of you, there is an unbelievable difference in the output and loyalty received. People want to feel valued, and the managers who give their employees that feeling will outperform the competition every day of their career with so much more peace and happiness.

    Great Post to remind us all to treat your work like your professional family.

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