For those that know me well the fact that I am using a Depeche Mode album as the title for this blog won't surprise them. Not only are Deche Mode one of my favourite bands of all time but I also often use their lyrics as examples of how we can all improve in business.
Let's start with the traditional view of business.....this is the 80's hangover in my view.
You had something to hide
Should have hidden it, shouldn't you
Now you're not satisfied
With what you're being put through
From the 'most excellent' Policy of truth in an age where wisdom dictated that we could/should get away with what in effect amounts to lies.
Now I have heard people say things like: 'Well you didn't get the job because you were too honest'.....or words to that effect. Let's pause a second though and consider this.
If you had a literal translation of this then it says to me that we prefer people to lie to us? Surely that is less than ideal as a situation as you would spend all your time trying to establish if someone had told you the truth or not?
The other, and in my experience the real, reason for people making this type of comment is that someone said something that 'hurt', as Usher said 'Baby, everything we built on trust, you're tearing it down. Coz I know the truth hurts'. We tend to like to feel we know best, especially when bringing in a partner to work with. There is an inherent contradiction, though, as we go to seek out a specialist and then get 'hurt' by the fact that we may not know as much as we thought we did in the first place. The key is to recognise, in the first instance, that relationships are built on both sides.
Always assume positive intent on the part of the supplier coming in to talk to you. Very few people genuinely go out of their way to ruin your day. They are the experts. As the supplier try to recognise the sensitivity in the client. Watch for the points where they become restless, challenging or uneasy. Seek to understand. You may have a view that they are clearly uncomfortable with so question them. After all the best way to build a meaningful relationship is based on great questioning and listening skills.
If all parties are open minded, sensitive and adult then we will all get a far better outcome, but NEVER EVER lie. After all, everything counts in large amounts....