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  • Writer's pictureClint Greenleaf


There’s a great lesson in self-discipline that every company can learn -- one that can result in improved morale, increased customer service, and better client relationships. I can boil it down to one word: respect.

We all remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s simple enough in theory, but I know I’m not alone in having to remind myself of its importance from time to time. If you’re like most companies, you may find yourself with a small number of clients who are consistently challenging or difficult to please.

The natural reactions to difficult clients are frustration, negative talk, and defensive behavior, which are certainly not healthy. Everyone knows this is a problem, but they may not be sure what to do to fix it. I suggest tackling the issue head-on to avoid a downward spiral of negativity. After all, your job is to help your clients make money for both of you… they pay you to do so!

I suggest that you commit to a positive feedback campaign to focus on over the next quarter. This starts by updating your core values and ranking respect high on the list. Your first course of action will be to commit to calling each other (and yourselves) out when frustrations turned negative. This isn’t very hard to do, but it will be a great exercise and can make you realize that you may do it more than you think you do.

Next, resolve to have every employee recognize the positive attributes of one of their clients through a company-wide email. Assign a day (or two, depending on how many employees you have) for each employee to send their email so the entire staff receives a couple of e-mails of this nature each week. The results will be overwhelming and will bring the entire staff closer to our clients.

The measureable results from this initiative should include improved customer service, client satisfaction, and client relationships. What I can’t measure, but can attest to, is the improvement in office mojo. The positive vibe is contagious and drastically improves workplace morale.

This is an easy policy that I recommend everyone institute. In a culture where it’s cool to be sarcastic, pithy, and snarky, it’s not a constructive behavior in the office. Why be negative when it’s just as easy to be positive -- and it has great side effects!

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