*By Jennifer Morris*
So, I’ve been running my business for a couple of years now, and I have come to a conclusion: There are a lot of people in business that are complete dicks about everything. I know that some people are nodding along and agreeing with me, but this article is not for you – cause you likely already get it. This article is for the people shaking their heads at my use of the word “dick” and that I even have the balls to say something so “vulgar”.
Now I want to be clear, just because someone is a dick in business, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are also a jerk in their day to day life. But, let’s be honest… sometimes it does.
My definition of a “dick” is someone that is in business just to make money, or even worse just to “win”, so to speak. In my experience, focusing on making money, winning or treating a customer or vendor like an opponent, rarely breeds sustainable success. So with that said, here are some tips for the real dicks out there, in order to be less dick-like in business.
Often seen as a weakness, empathy is actually a really strong and useful quality to have in business. The key here is to not just think about yourself, obviously. This can be hard for the longtime-dick, but is a quality that can be honed easily with practice. Don’t get defensive when you hear something that might not work for you. Stop and listen, and then consider their position before formulating a response. Understanding the needs of your vendor or customer will help you to create better strategies and solutions for everyone involved.
Making money is not your purpose.
If you think the purpose of your business is to make money, you need to re-evaluate why you started your business or took your job to begin with. Your purpose is to add value to your clients, plain and simple – regardless of industry or profession. The minute you start focusing on making money is the moment you become a dick and start making poor decisions for your business. If you’re not adding any value that you can name to your clients, other than potentially saving them money, you need to close up shop and find something else to do.
Yes, I know that’s easier said than done. But remember, when you run into another dick, it drives them crazy when you’re not automatically a dick right back to them. So this is like a sneaky way of feeding your need to respond, without having to be a dick as well! A reaction is sometimes the only reason someone is being this way in the first place. Sometimes it stems from insecurity and that person just wants you to be mean to them in order to validate those feelings… Woah, pretty deep eh?
Know and communicate your value.
Since being a dick can ultimately come from a place of insecurity, it’s key to understand the value that you and your business can bring to the table. Being confident in yourself and what you have to offer can help to prevent this dick-like behaviour from arising. Also, when you ensure that you are clearly and effectively communicating your value, it translates into respect, understanding and profit.
No one is perfect and it’s easy to fall into traps that turn a perfectly good person into a dick. Keep being self-aware by acknowledging what kind of person you are portraying in your business. Like what Mom always used to say, “treat people how you want to be treated” – it’s just as simple as that.
Jennifer Morris owns and runs a commercial transportation brokerage and consulting firm based in Toronto. Running a company that focuses on sustainable practices and specializes in food and produce consumer goods, has provided her with a wide variety of experience. She has a profound love for mentoring other entrepreneurs and women in her industry, and a passion for writing, travel and photography.
Photos by Unsplash