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The One Thing You Must Do to Gain Cooperation


Paul  Kearley - Expert Author

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One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They act impulsively without thinking. I always try to think before I talk.

~Margaret Chase Smith

It didn't make sense. How could he say that after the promise had been made? Why would he say one thing and do another, and then say that he had changed his mind without talking to anyone?

"It's only business" he said, "don't take it so personally."

We had put on a special management project for a company in Fredericton, NB, that lasted one evening a week for 7 weeks. We provided the books and supplies for his people, we booked the meeting room at the hotel, and we had made the hour and fifteen minute drive there and back again each week, paying our own expenses, always with the expectation that he would pay us the money he owed us. But every week he had a different excuse why he didn't have a cheque. 

Not once did we doubt him, after all, he promised us.

He was a good guy... wasn't he?

And a promise is a promise... isn't it?

Now it was the final night, Graduation night, and we had the certificates for the participants, but no cheque.

"I'm not paying you the money" he said after the people had gone home and we sat in his office. "We made no written agreement, so you can't prove I owe you anything, so you may as well just leave my office because I am not paying."

In all my years of business, this was the first time that I had ever seen anyone do anything like this. I was livid! I threatened court action, and I even harboured thoughts of inflicting bodily harm, but my business partner very innocently nudged me under the table and gave me the signal that it was time to go.

"There is no need for court action" he said when we climbed into his car and started the drive back home. "I have learned in business that what goes around comes around, and he is going to find that he cannot do what he did to us and expect to profit from it. He will try that with someone else and will find his business coming down like a house of cards."

Prophetically, in about 6 months, the man went bankrupt.

I guess it went around.

So, why am I telling you this story? 

Quite simply to make the point that to make stronger connections with others, and to progress in business and in life, there is one thing that you must pay particular attention to when dealing with others: You must say what you mean, and mean what you say.

How many times have you seen people make these grandiose plans, get everyone excited about them, and then, when the situation suddenly doesn't suit them, they change horses in mid race?

It causes chaos.

It creates frustration.

It obliterates trust.

I recently had the honour of speaking with a retired businessman in Newfoundland. A multi millionaire, Ray had owned 5 businesses and very successfully operated them until his retirement a few years ago. I thought that if I had a few minutes to talk to this man, I would ask him the question that many starting out entrepreneurs and seasoned business people may have wanted to ask: What is the secret to success?

Without batting an eye, he said "you have to be willing to work hard, you must tell the truth, and you always do what you say you are going to do. People, your employees and your customers are depending on you to get it right."

Always do what you say you are going to do.


But what if things go wrong?

Oh, things will go wrong. That's Murphy's Law, depend on it.

Just be honest in your communications and keep people informed.

Saying what you mean and meaning what you say has other ramifications as well, because it means that if you are going to say something, make sure that what you say is the truth. Don't dress it up, don't beat around the bush, and don't hide from it: address the issue, deal with it, and then move on. 

I have seen too much time wasted and too many relationships sacrificed by people who have made statements that caused confusion or were not fully thought out before they were made, and I have seen way too many meetings called to address or explain problems that had been created when someone didn't follow this principle.

This is not really rocket science; this is simple honesty and straight communications that we are talking about. All I am saying is this: if you have something to say, or an action that you want people to take, think it out first before you say it, look at it from all sides, get the facts, weigh the facts, then say what you really mean, and when it is said follow through.

People will more willingly follow someone who tells the truth about what they mean and follows up with genuine sincere intentions long before they will follow someone who is ambiguous. Just look at Joe Fiander. He can tell you. He is a master of this principle.

This week, I am asking you to dig deep and be more purposeful in your communications. Take the time to be clearer when talking to people and ensure that you follow through on what you say, and when you do, you will soon see that true cooperation and greater success comes from practicing clear communications.

Make this your best week ever

About the Author

S. Paul Kearley
Personal Best Training Solutions
Business Coach, Managing Partner
Dale Carnegie Business Group
506 432 6500

A successful salesperson, speaker and manager, author of over 350 articles and 3 e-books, Paul Kearley has coached many thousands of people since his start in the Personal and Business development business in 1985.  From Premiers of provinces to CEOís, or from salespeople to students, Paul has assisted them all to create alignment, build confidence, improve human relations, deal effectively with stress, amplify sales and strengthen attitudes.

A Business coach for Dale Carnegie Business Group, Paul is licensed to coach in leadership, management, customer relations, personal development, public speaking and sales.  Paul has worked with numerous companies and organizations from developing greater sales effectiveness with Jacques Whitford Engineering (now Stantec) to creating an environment where everyone sells, as he did with PEI Credit Unions, to making change stick with The Municipality for the County of Richmond and coaching JD Irvingís I.T. team to present more convincingly and with power.

 As Managing Partner for the Canadian Maritimes, Paulís responsibilities include creating a dynamic support team, building an ever-increasing client base, training new business coaches and delivering 100% client satisfaction.

To connect with Paul, simply drop him a line at  

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-03-21 12:08:09 in Personal Articles

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