You are About to Enter
the mind of a woman. As more women rise to positions of power you have before you an opportunity to learn how we (or at least some of us) make important business decisions - the one’s that affect whether you get hired or whether your company wins our business.
Sara, a real client whose name has been changed, is a rising star in the xxx industry, and I am her coach. Sara hired me on her own and pays for my coaching services. Sara works for the zzz corporation where she was promoted four times in the past two years during a period of rapid growth for the company. Sara is invaluable because she addresses needs and solves problems before others even see them. In addition, she develops her employees, creates a culture of collaboration and a passion for excellence. Several acquisitions have created opportunities for Sara to expand her reach, learn and prove herself in more aspects of the business. What her employers don’t know is that they will soon be competing with Sara when she and a co-worker start their own company some time in the next six months.
Inside the Locker Room
Sara has granted permission for you to eavesdrop on one of our recent conversations.
Sara: I went out to lunch with our CEO and two execs from our top vendor the other day. I was the only woman at the table except for the waitress. I couldn’t believe these guys. They never made eye contact with the waitress, the bus boy or any of the other wait staff. One of them even snapped his fingers to call her over. I’m sitting there thinking, “That could be me waiting tables.” In fact, I have waited tables.
Me: You’ve got some good examples of how you don’t want to treat people.
Sara: Wait, that’s not even the worst part. When we get up from the table, I notice one of the guys from our vendor company - his fly was open the whole time. So he’s been treating the staff like they’re not at his level, like he’s better than they are, and meanwhile this guy’s sitting there with his fly open.
Me: What did you do?
Sara: After they left, I went back and left the waitress a bigger tip.
Sara: I felt badly for the way they treated her, and I was part of the group. I felt responsible.
Me: Nice move. What did you learn?
Sara: These vendors won’t be doing business with us when Steve and I start our company. They think it’s all about the pricing, the product, the service, the fancy lunches. Well for me a big piece is how you treat people. Not just how you treat me when you’re trying to win or keep my business but how you treat the guy on the street, the cab driver, the waitress. They may be unconscious, but I’m not. I’m watching, and I’m more interested in how you are and who you are when you’re not trying to impress me.
The Locker Room Take Away
So, for Sara, who will soon be running her own very successful business, the expression “It’s all about relationships,” really means “Its all about all relationships all the time.” Best to know that if you’re going to do business with her.