Though my years working in different arenas I have often run into a certain kind of person. You’ve probably met this person. You meet them several times over a course of time and every time you see them, it’s like you’ve never met before. They have no recollection of your name or having met you before. Now, some of these people may just be bad with names and faces. But some are only out for themselves.
You know, the person who is talking to you but always looking over your shoulder to see if a more important person arrives that they need to speak to. The person who is your best friend when they want something from you but doesn’t acknowledge you when they are with someone they deem more important. As I type this it sounds like I’m talking about personal relationships but these types of people are pervasive in many business arenas.
Don’t be the person who only gives time and effort to those in power or places of perceived influence and power. Most times the people lower on a totem pole are just as important as the CEO; sometimes more so, if they are seen by those in power as valuable.
Value and integrity are qualities that are missing in many business meetings and networking events. The person you looked at across the room and judged to not be worth your time and effort may be the CEO of a firm you want to work with or for. The person you sat next to at the table in the back could be your next big client.
At a former workplace, my office was in the same building as a high-profile, locally based bank. Occasionally the namesake and chairman of the bank and I would be on the same elevator. He was always quick in asking how everyone was, from employees he knew to the others of us he didn’t. He never spoke down to anyone on that elevator; we were all treated with the same courtesy.
The key is treating everyone with the same level of respect. Talk to the person you’re with like they matter. If you’ve forgotten their name, apologize and ask. Chances are good they will not mind and respect you more for admitting your forgetfulness. Make a commitment to be in the moment with the person you’re sitting beside or chatting with at an event or in the workplace. You could learn something and your personal capital will increase as you become the person who treats everyone like a rock star.
Who treats you like a rock star every time you see them?
By Larisa Langley, The Whittington Group’s VP of Client Services, who gets her kicks helping people make connections and solve problems. She is grateful for her long list of connections developed through her years in marketing and business development. Larisa strives to treat everyone with the same level of respect every day.