Just recently, I had a conversation with an high level executive. He was telling me that when he first started working for his company, it’s suppliers would take him and his coworkers out to dinner. It was much appreciated and it would basically end there. He told me that today it is a much different story. He said that his company expects that if a supplier does something for you, then you do it right back, and the reason was flabbergasting to me. He said the reason was that his company did not want to be indebted in any way to a supplier. They did not want the nice gestures of the supplier clouding decisions. Basically, if the supplier did something nice for them then they would have to return the favor.
It was so confusing for me…they would cancel out the nice gesture by giving a nice gesture right back? Making everything even again? Is that how business is done now? Hopefully, we’ve not found ourselves there with our friends, family, and in our business. To be indebted, there is a debt plain and simple. Don’t look to repay that debt or create debt for someone else. When we are indebted, we show appreciation and genuinely look for ways to show how much we value the relationship. This means you know how to give and receive.
At home, when you want to do something nice for your wife, just do it. If something nice doesn’t happen in return, it means absolutely nothing…you gave because you wanted to, right? You didn’t give to get something back. At work, if a customer gives you something receive it with gratitude. Don’t instantly look for ways to return the favor…just do something nice because you care about your customer. Lets stop just returning favors and canceling out debts. Lets get back to the basics of doing nice things because its who you are. That genuine charity keeps our family, friends, and customers close.