The Negotiator Magazine

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Tom Peters, in all his research, pointed out in his book, In The Pursuit of WOW! That 2/3 of all customers will leave you because of lousy relationship management! Had nothing to do with price or service. In your life as a consumer, think about this. Have you had many more positive customer experiences or negative customer experiences????? I would bet that latter.

And isn't this true as well, what employees feel about themselves is what they give their customers????

What are your relationships based on? This question needs to be asked and answered on a regular basis.

The "S" in ethics is Self Esteem. The challenge that our culture seems to place on self esteem is that the culture wants us to believe that our self esteem is determined by how much money we make rather than who we are. Here's my definition of self esteem.

Self esteem is my perception of myself in relation to the world and not the world's perception of me. If someone doesn't like you for who and what your are, who's got the problem?? They do and let them own it!

My link between self esteem and ethics is this. The more positive one's self esteem is the more ethical one is and the less positive one's self esteem is the more unethical one is.

Self esteem, experts tell us is developed in three ways. First is conditioning. Whatever the mind is bombarded with, the mind will accept. If one bombards others with negatives, you get negative. If one bombards others with positives, you get positive. In essence, you reap what you sow.

Second is role modeling. Are you walking the talk? Are you modeling the values you want your people to buy into?? Keep this in mind, people listen more with their eyes than they do with their ears. People may lie to you with their mouth, they may lie to you with the written word, but how people treat you is indicative of what they think about you!! Your people are watching what you do and not what you say.

Third is positive reinforcement. Anyone can be a positive thinker for a day, do it for a week, do it for a month, your people will think your crazy! But it's like Leo Buscaglia said, when people think your crazy, it gives you a lot of leeway for behavior!

All these concepts revolve around our concept of time. It is the one commodity we never have enough . There is an old Lakota Sioux story that really puts into perspective how very simple ethics and values can be understood.

Long before the encroachment of any other race on the shores of this country, the Lakota had the run of the Great Plains, following the great Buffalo herds. And as the Lakota warrior would go out to hunt, the Lakota woman and her children would set up the tepee, the camp and the campfire for their meal. After they had finished eating, the Lakota warrior/father would sit around the campfire and tell his children of their ancestors. Of the great buffalo hunts of their grandfathers, of the great tests of valor of their relatives against their enemies the Nez Perce, and the Blackfeet. He would tell them of their spiritual relationship between Mother Earth, from whom all things come, and of that relationship between Mother and what the Lakota called the Wantankantan, the great Spirit in the sky where we will all go when we die. And as he tucked his children in their buffalo robes, this is what he left them with, Remember my children ,when you were born, you cried and the people rejoiced, Live your life so that when you die, the people cry and you rejoice!!

Simple isn't it!

Frank C. Bucaro, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations that want to integrate ethical standards of excellence with solid business practices. He also presents keynote and seminar programs on the relationship of ethics and values to long-term success. He is the author of two books, Taking the High Road: How to Succeed Ethically When Others Bend the Rules and What Happened to the Good Guys in the White Hats? Lessons in Ethical Leadership. For additional information about Frank’s availability to speak to your group, contact the Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email

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