San Diego-based advisor Bill Smith has written a book I’d recommend for producers wanting more success and balance to his or her life and profession. “The Happy Advisor” is chock full of inspirational as well as practical information.
One chapter I found interesting is on cultivating last respecting. The following are three of Smith’s ideas on putting respect in perspective.
1. Show respect to others. One father’s advice to his daughter when dating was to evaluate a prospective boyfriend not by how he treated her but how he treated waiters. I’ll bet you know assistants who are giving their advisors half-hearted support because the advisors continually treat them with disrespect. Whether you explain it through religious values, karma or the golden rule, there is much to be gained by making it a personal policy to respect others.
2. Remind yourself it’s not about you. You will never be good enough or important enough that everyone will treat you with respect. Some people are busy with their own lives, some haven’t developed people skills, and others simply may be selfish goons. Just be grateful you’re not one of them. My friend Dan runs short-term medical missions to the middle of the jungle. People who know him respect him greatly. One day, he parked in front of a convenience store, bought a soda and then went next door to a pet store. The convenience store manager had his car towed from the customers-only space he was in. No respect. But Dan didn’t let the store manager’s opinion of him–and inconsiderate actions–color what he thinks of himself.
3. Understand it’s the system, not the person. Why does the tattooed Generation Y Starbucks employee greet you cheerfully and pay close attention to your order while a retail store employee ignores you completely to continue a conversation with a friend as a you stand there, money in hand? They’re both hired from the same labor pool, but the Starbucks system teaches people to give what they call “legendary service” while the retail store doesn’t. Not only is it often not about you, sometimes it’s not really about the other person, either. It’s just about the system you’re both operating in.