Here we are about to reach the home stretch of our list making. Just one final item to inventory. If you have been following along then you may have noticed a striking similarity to 12 step program work. And you would be correct. The next section deviates for the purpose of this being a business personal inventory.
In this section I limited myself to my top 5. Of what you may ask? Here we are looking at our relationships with our best customers. If you are not in sales substitute the 5 most important people in you business life. Works the same. It is not necessary to stop at 5, you are welcome to expand this as much as you like but this is what I did the first time.
So we look at our business relationships and we get them down on paper. For each relationship we subject it to the following five questions.
- Have I ever been selfish, dishonest or inconsiderate?
- Whom had I hurt?
- Did I unjustifiably arouse suspicion, resentment or distrust?
- Where was I at fault?
- What could I have done differently?
The answers can be yes or no or short, but we are trying to get to the root of how we have treated our business relationships in the past. So nothing counts better than a thorough listing. You may choose 5 and then notice a pattern and continue to do 5 more. There are no rules, this is not a test. It’s value lies in doing then reviewing.
And when we review what it is we have written we may see how our interactions with others may have caused us problems. Possibly they cause trepidation when going to a meeting, a twinge of discomfort when discussing a customer at the weekly meeting or that sense of futility when building a proposal just knowing that the competition has squeaked in and is eating your lunch!
So what do we do with this accounting? We use it to learn, and develop a new way of rating to our customers. In our review we see how we could have done things different. From this we write out what a perfect customer relationship would be from our side. And then we make the choice to work toward it. Will we be perfect, highly unlikely, but as we implement this way of working with others we will see how the greatest impact is on our own well being.
When we right relate to our fellows in business, going to work in the morning becomes something we look forward to. We strive for that one more cold call. Arrive at meetings early and ask the receptionist how they are doing. We view everyone as someone we may be of help to. Our home life improves and we sleep better.
All in all my experience with this has been remarkable. And while there are still things in business well out of my control, if today I do this and try to live up to the ideal I’ve created, life will be good. For me so far thats the experience.