The Business of People

People-watching is grossly underrated. So much can be learned from observing others; especially when done introspectively.

Recently I met a group of women for dinner and a movie. As we sat in the restaurant, I scanned the room to notice who was around. All the tables were full, thus people watching was easy.

At the table beside us was a man, presumably a father and two small children who appeared early elementary-school aged. The younger one, a little girl, was bouncy and excited, and wanted her dad’s attention. He was scanning his smart phone, totally distracted. After a few moments, the girl took the drastic measure of inserting her cute little face in between the man and his phone. She was relentless! That little girl was going to win the battle for her dad’s attention.

Ouch. In my amusement I chuckled at the girl’s tenacity, yet the lesson was obvious. If you are going to be there, then be there. This is a common trap for most, as we are
e-connected continuously. While phones can increase productivity, they can wreak havoc in everyday communication. For most people, this constant invasion of intimacy can be quite offensive and erode relationships greatly over time.

We are in the business of people; at work, at home, and beyond. The measure of our success is likely linked to the success of our relationships. Thus as trends change, we must acknowledge that some things always ring true.

People are important. While other things are important, nothing is more than the people in our lives. Value others by giving them your undivided attention. Practice the art of making others feel important.

Listen! Many people never stop talking long enough to hear what others may have to say. Take time to listen to others and fight the urge to speak while they are speaking. Maintain good eye contact and be quiet! Now with smart phones, it is amazing how many people listen while surfing the internet. Practice the art of listening.

Reflect. Take time to reflect; success, failure, people, goals, accomplishments, disappointments. Many of life’s greatest lessons are found in experience. Just like you treat others with value, do the same for yourself. Take time to reflect, learn, and grow introspectively. Allow time for yourself. Practice the art of silence.

As you plan the New Year, give yourself a new kind of challenge. Name three key relationships you want to improve. Use these simple strategies, treat them as important, listen and reflect. If you do you will enjoy positive change.

The most important aspect of any organization is managing and growing people. While it’s simple, it’s far from easy. It’s much more comfortable to hide behind busy. Pay attention to others when in lobbies while waiting on appointments. Some of the best contacts come from unplanned introductions, unscripted meetings that just happened.

If you are looking to make 2013 a successful year, then plan accordingly. Establish goals, compile budgets, and schedule meetings. Just don’t overlook your most valuable asset.

Your business is people.

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