A businesslike manner is defined by Coliins Dictionary as “dealing with things efficiently and without wasting time”. While this seem pretty clear, what does ‘not wasting time’ mean for you? I held strong notions of keeping my business and my personal lives entirely separate. What is dawning on me is that that, especially in the world of therapeutic businesses, Business IS Personal. This there is an growing redefinition of ‘what is business’ and what counts as “time-wasting”.
Some of the activities i engage with as a business woman may not seem, at first glance, particularly efficient. These activities do however impact and benefit my business profoundly in the long run. Some of my activitiies appear to be down-right indirect but they work. Activities such as the networking, the questioning, the reflecting on my practice and the blogging have drawn my client base right around me. The studying and the with-drawing for a business development day has set my intention and then this is what happens because i have identified all the steps along the way. The talking to friends, the conversations at the school gate, the exchanges in the coffee shop are all potentially marketing strategies. They may appear to be far less direct than say attending a networking meeting and pitching my business, or the identification of likely business and the cold calling. Those are the “efficient” business practises I witnessed or undertook during my 20s and I did not enjoy them one bit.
What I know now is that the really businesslike manner of trading is that which is warm and respectful. It is curious about others and it is more interested in ‘them’ than in me. An effective businesslike manner is authentic and real and it allows time for trust to develop. Business may well be generated out of existing friendships and the trust inherent. These to are where the recommendations that lead to real and engaged clients originate.
Behaving in a truly businesslike manner is generous in the sharing of ideas and solutions. Behaving in a businesslike manner for me never, ever puts “efficiency” over humanity. Equality and potency are a the core of my business and this is what makes it so very enjoyable and effective. To an outsider my activities may not appear efficient, but that is their definition of the word. I know that more business can be generated one heartfelt conversation, than with a 1000 cold calls. Paradoxically this is because in that conversation I am holding the human, and not the business, in mind. Take the long view and design your businesslike manner in the way that suits you. People always recognise authenticity, so be sure to honour your’s, in all your transactions.