The Most Underrated Personal Quality in Business

The Most Underrated Personal Quality in Business

A few weeks ago I was so excited to be interviewed on ITV’s This Morning — behind the scenes I had the chance to connect with co-host Eamonn Holmes, who it turned out remembered me from when we met decades ago, back when I was still with Chris Eubanks in my first job out of uni!

This really reminded me that the most underrated, yet highly valued personal quality in business … is just being nice!

Too many people in business think the only way to succeed is to just be out for themselves. And while there’s nothing wrong with making a profit, I don’t believe in the dog-eat-dog mentality. I’ve never run my businesses that way, and I don’t work with people who do because it’s unnecessary, unethical and I actually believe it really sets you back in most situations.

That’s why I’m so passionate about building my network. When we’re all able to focus on our area of genius and collaborate with other people who are really focusing on their area of genius, that’s when you can really create great businesses. That’s when you create a network that’s better than any pension pot. And that’s when you can really start to run your life and business on your terms.

Just to be clear — I an NOT saying be a pushover!

There’s a big difference between being a decent person and letting everyone walk all over you. You have to stand up for yourself and your business, have firm boundaries, and be strict about getting a good ROI on your time and you money. But being nice and genuinely connecting with other people has a great ROI in and of itself — and, as in the case of Eamonn and I, it pays off in ways that you could never expect!

So how do you do this?

You know I’m big on implementation, so here are four ways that you can be nice without being a pushover:

1. Say nice things about people on social media.

This is a really quick and easy way to do something nice for someone else, and it costs you all of about 5 seconds. Just make sure that whatever you say, you really mean it. If you’re just doing it to make an impression or you do it all the time for everyone, you’ll devalue the compliment.

2. Introduce people who you know can help each other.

I love connecting and I’ll always make the introduction personally. All you have to do is send a quick email telling each person how they can help each other, why you think they should connect and wish them the best.

3. Do what you say you’re going to do.

You would think this goes without saying, but people can be really flakey, especially over the Internet. So if you say you’re going to do something, follow through on time and to the very best of your ability. You’ll really help people out, and you’ll build a great reputation for yourself.

4. Send handwritten notes.

Clearly you won’t have time to do this for everyone you come into contact with, but if someone does you a big favour, you know they’re going through a hard time, or you just want to show them that you really appreciate them, then send a handwritten note. People rarely get nice things in the post these days, so you’ll really make an impression, and by taking the time to sit down and write the note by hand, you’re showing them that you’re willing to invest your time and energy in the relationship.