You are probably wondering why I am asking this question and what dating possibly has to do with a leadership blog…
Actually, this topic comes up frequently in my coaching sessions. Business it seems, is a lot like dating…
So, here are some dating and business best practices I’ve learned along the way:
- Be authentic.
- Be respectful.
- Be clear on what you are looking for in a partner, a customer, an employee or a vendor.
- Be clear what it is you bring to the table and be realistic. That high powered CFO may be great in a Fortune 500 company, but is she really what your $30mm company needs?
- Put yourself in situations to meet new people that fit. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s not a game of numbers, it’s all about defining and measuring fit.
- That wild guy or gal you wouldn’t bring home to Mom, is probably not going to be your SO or your best customer, no matter what he is willing to pay.
- As soon as you meet “Mr. or Ms. right”, go out with someone else (when we get fixated on winning one partner, customer, employee, we can appear desperate. As Vistage speaker, Tom Searcy says, “play like you have nothing to lose.”
- Go on a date with anyone once (okay, not someone you know is an ax murderer).
- Go on a second date, if there was a spark of interest.
- When she says she needs some time alone, or the prospect doesn’t get back to us right away, its not the time to call a day later and suggest coffee.
- Once you have made a commitment, be committed. Give your customer, employee, vendor a chance to right a wrong.
- And.. when a relationship fails (or the service is consistently poor), don’t drag out the exit. End it, learn from your mistakes, decide what to look for next round and start the cycle again.
For an amusing, albeit somewhat crass, perspective on the subject: