Ask The Inventress: Three Agreements For Great Business Practices
Communication is key to any healthy and happy relationship
It is important to develop meaningful relationships in both your personal and professional lives. Communication is key to any healthy and happy relationship as is placing emphasis on gratitude in everything you do. Get into the habit of asking yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” You must always be respectful of other people’s time and never take anything for granted, especially when it comes to business. But keep in mind, communicating with gratitude is a two-way street and very essential in order to achieve your goals and live a life full of happiness and outstanding achievements. In order to maximize the overall success of your business, it is imperative that you develop and fully understand what I like to call my “Three Agreements For Great Business Practices.”
The Three Agreements we will be discussing are Gratitude, Patience, and Respect.
The short answer as to why I have developed these three simple, yet necessary and effective agreements is that I found an astounding need for them after being in business for decades. To be transparent, I live by and thrive by these three agreements in my business today and have without even consciously being aware of my positive business etiquette for the last 30+ years. The key takeaway here is “without even realizing.” You see, I was extremely liberal and soft when I opened my business. It didn’t take me long to realize that if I was accepting of all behaviors in my business, I would no longer have a business practice that I believed in. These three agreements were a part of my upbringing from an early age. Believing in the power and importance of gratitude, patience, and respect was a part of who I was and who I am. On multiple occasions I have thought to myself, “How could I possibly build a business, a brand, using practices that I didn’t believe in?” Living in a world that is lacking so much professionalism and kindness at times makes being a business owner very difficult. Why? Because when so much negative behavior you can’t control surrounds you, it is oftentimes impossible to escape without falling into the trap of negativity if you do not have guidance and direction. And so, I am happy to be that guidance for all of you today through this blog.
I learned early on if my business were not genuinely mine, in other words, if it wasn’t a reflection of my beliefs and was instead a reflection of my surroundings, my business would become a free-for-all. Essentially, a failure due to the lack of authenticity it possessed. As much as I want my clients, my partners, and my associates to be expressive and free, if their actions do not uphold to my three agreements, then those actions can’t work and furthermore, I won’t allow them to work and take over my vision and goals. My special formula has given me ease, confidence, and allowed me to be comfortable in running my business smoothly and might I add, without a glitch, for the last 38 years. Please understand, this is all due to authenticity. I am up front, out the gate! I speak the truth and believe honesty is the only policy. I say it, my business agreements state it and I live it!
Developing your business partnerships with a full understanding that all parties involved must abide by communicating with gratitude, patience, and respect should be a top priority for all business owners. Now you may be wondering, “What is this practice and how does it work?” Step one to achieving these agreements is expressing thanks. Simple gestures like saying thank you with a smile or admiring someone’s strong work ethic is very telling. Kindness goes a long way in this world and is not forgotten. It is a sure way to stand out from your peers. When I worked in the medical field many moons ago, I did a smiling experiment. I found that most people walk around with sadness in their eyes, so I challenged myself to a “smile off.” I walked around the hospital all day with a smile on my face just to see the reaction of others and by the end of my shift, not only was my entire department smiling, they were rolling on the floor with laughter. We talked about that day for weeks and we reminded each other daily about how wonderful we all felt by smiling and spreading kindness. The key takeaway here is how you treat others will stay with them. First impressions are important, but in reality and especially in business, all impressions are important. Communicating with gratitude and kindness in the workplace is undervalued. By developing these simple business practices within yourself or with your team, you will grow your business based on good values and morals. You will make your customers, employees, and clients feel appreciated and after a long day of work, you will be able to sleep peacefully knowing that you are a great communicator that cares about others.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Patience is a virtue.” It’s true! We live in a world where everyone is always on the go. It’s loud, there’s frequent movement, and no one ever takes a breath of fresh air. When we finally do pause, clear our heads, and think before we speak, it’s usually for the best. But because we live in this fast-paced world, we all expect things to be done immediately. In reality, good things take time, great things take even longer. Sometimes, things may take a little longer and that’s OK. We need to learn and understand the process or the root of the problem that is causing the delay before jumping to conclusions. Instead of potentially ruining what could have been a very prosperous and thriving relationship with a client or co-worker because you didn’t have the patience to hold your tongue, try to live your life with an open mind. We are all human, things come up, and before passing judgment on anyone or anything, make a mental note to learn more about the situation at hand before speaking or acting out.
The last agreement we are going to cover is respect. It’s important that when you develop a partnership, you incorporate boundaries into your business practices. If a person swears in your place of business and you are opposed to that type of behavior, it needs to be established in their initial employment interview, not when they have been working with you for months using foul language and not being told that it’s unacceptable. To clarify, the same way you research a candidate to make sure he or she have the proper skill set and experience that’s needed to work for your business, you need to make sure your personalities are a match. This is something that many business owners fail to incorporate when it comes to hiring, hence the reason for job insecurity and failure. Waiting until your breaking point to express your disapproval of said behavior will not be good for anyone. Being truthful and expressing your likes and dislikes early on in any relationship is essential for success.