Recently, the association management company who managed the meeting of a past client was rude to my marketing director – first on the phone, then in an email. I observed his ugliness when I worked with my client a few years ago. He was arrogant, unkind, and seemingly an unhappy person, who is likely paid handsomely to manage the association for which I was hired to give a keynote speech. Fortunately, in my profession, most people are really kind and encouraging. It is incredible rare to run across the rude behavior we both experienced. So when it happens, it’s like jumping into an ice-cold lake. It takes your breath away.

It’s pretty easy to be nice and doing so has advantages.

So if you aren’t being “nice”, how do you know? I think you aren’t nice if your regularly do any of the following:

1) Asking your company receptionist to lie for you (telling callers you are in a meeting when you aren’t). Even screening calls is not nice.

2) Failing to return calls. If someone leaves you a message, call them back – even if you have to do so before or after hours because you don’t have time to talk.

3) Lying or even “bending” the truth. If you don’t see a need for the products or services being offered, KINDLY tell the person selling. “Bob, thank you for your call. I know your time is precious and I really don’t want to waste it by telling you to call me back later. I don’t see a fit with your company/your products, etc. Thank you for thinking of me and I do wish you well.” (it took me less than 30 seconds to compose that!)

4) Playing the “I’m busy” game. Even though I am sure people are busy, their busy doesn’t trump anyone else’s busy.

5) Being rude. It’s a poor reflection on you and your business when you are rude to anyone for any reason. It should never be tolerated.

It’s usually true that what comes around goes around. Eventually, my client will find out about the rudeness displayed by the “professional” they hired to manage their association. While I don’t wish him misfortune, I do wish that the rudeness he displayed would not be tolerated. There are plenty of people who know business nice. Hire nice. Train nice. Reward nice. Only tolerate nice.

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