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How you do anything is how you do everything

Years ago, I heard this line and quite often I am reminded how true it is.

I’m guessing the same thing has happened to you.

Let’s say you are interviewing a candidate for a position, and they are a few minutes late.  They make a believable excuse for their tardiness (traffic), but then after you hire them, you notice that they are often late to work or late for meetings.

Or, with that same candidate, you walk them to their car after the interview and notice how dirty and messy the inside of their car is.  Again, they dismiss this as unusual, but after you hire them, you notice that their work area is messy, they look a bit disheveled when they arrive in the morning for work, or the information they give to you is occasionally splattered with food, coffee, etc.

Or, if you are trying to set a meeting with a client or prospect and it seems to take forever to tie them down to a meeting time.  And then they have to reschedule a few times.  Don’t be surprised if it takes “forever” for them to make a decision to buy your product or service and to begin doing business together.

That’s why I found that how you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING.  It’s tempting to resist saying this is true about yourself, your partner or a business colleague.  There are always good “reasons” for anything.

Pay attention next time someone doesn’t meet your performance standards. Do they have a pattern or was it truly a one-time thing. I had a co-worker who was always early for meetings.  When I asked him about this, he told me he was taught early in his career:  Being on time means you’re late. So, he is always early.  Taking it further, he was always prepared for our meetings and never missed a deadline.

And be sure to ask yourself: “how do I do everything?”  Am I on time?  Do I take time before a meeting or interview to do my research and be prepared?  Do I talk more than I listen?  Do I multi-task during Zoom meetings, or am I constantly checking my mobile phone for texts and emails when I am in person with others?

The great thing about any bad habit you have is that once you have identified it, you can change that habit.  It’s as simple as setting your mind to it.  For me, I now have become disciplined about preparing for meetings, by reading all pre-meeting materials several days before the actual meeting.  I check out people’s LinkedIn profiles before I meet with them.  I put my mobile phone away anytime I am getting on a Zoom call, having a meal or business meeting with someone, so I am 100% focused on them.

I wasn’t always this way.  I used to be the queen of multitasking.  But what I noticed was that I missed little nuances during conversations or had to ask people to repeat themselves, which I could see was frustrating for others.

Now, I’ve adopted this sentence as my business mantra and it has proven especially insightful during my coaching sessions with clients.

Think about it.  What habits do you have that you realize you should modify? Remember, how you do ANYTHING is truly how you do EVERYTHING.

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