When I first started Ethos3, I asked my mentor what the number one trait I would need to help me grow my business, become a better leader, and build better trust with my team and clients. His answer was simple: get better at responsiveness.
As I reflect on my years of working in business, volunteering, and leading others in various capacities, I think fondly on those who have practiced responsiveness with me. They are either now leaders on my team or elsewhere, have achieved great milestones professionally or personally, or in some cases, they have even become great friends because we share a similar value — responsiveness. I appreciate people who are intentional about their responsiveness and I get frustrated by those who do not live by this work ethic.
Just think about it:
- Have you ever been annoyed by the person on Facebook Marketplace who didn’t get back to you about that item you expressed interest in especially after exchanging a few initial messages back and forth?
- Are you frustrated by that moment when your team members completely neglected your Slack message even when you tried to share something funny to lift their spirits?
- Feeling left in the dark on that team project because your email inquiry has continued to go unanswered by the team leader?
Most people today have poor responsiveness skills. The good news here is you can get better at this wonderful art, and it will quickly become your competitive edge and super power. So, how do you do it? It starts with understanding the 3 B’s of Responsiveness.
The best brands today (personal or organizational) have made the decision to Build their reputations around the value of responsiveness. It’s an attitude for them, and it is also a strategy. They took the time and effort to build a culture that embraces and cultivates it throughout the organization. This mindset shift is part of their broader strategy. Think Zappos and customer service or think about that contractor that got back to you immediately on Thumbtack. They built their companies around that value set. And if someone is a thought leader or influencer, they are deliberate with making it a part of their personal brand which is why everyone praises them for their ability to communicate and respond well. You don’t just achieve responsiveness. You have to be proactive with building an attitude and strategy around it.
If you are successful with building a brand around responsiveness the end result will be that it will Boost your business. Looking back on my past experiences with those who practiced responsiveness with me, I always think and talk highly of them. I’ll recommend John because he kept me to up-to-date on my home improvement project or I’ll refer friends to Rebecca because she responds and respects every email I send her. These are all positive attributes which built their businesses and they will provide the same end result for you as well if you practice responsiveness.
And finally, responsiveness will make your business Bloom. Every response is a deposit and just like wealthy people enjoy the benefits of compound interest, you will reap the rewards of your efforts. Your business will prosper because people will not only enjoy working with you but they will continue to tell their friends about you. It’s the word-of-mouth marketing by-product of responsiveness that will enable your business to continue to grow and flourish while setting you apart from the competition.
Remember, most people today are bombarded with their inboxes, text messages, and other social responsibilities. They respond to the most important items and neglect the rest. The sad reality is they end up developing an approach to communication which is opposite of responsiveness. They miss out on growing their reputation. They miss out on potential new business. They miss out developing new relationships. Stand out from the rest and practice responsiveness. It’s what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Scott Schwertly is the Founder and CEO of Ethos3 and the creator of Badge, a proprietary presentation assessment tool which helps presenters discover and maximize their presentation style. He is also the author of two books, What’s Your Presentation Persona? (McGraw-Hill, 2017) and How to be a Presentation God (Wiley, 2011). If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run since he is a 2x Ironman, 7x marathoner, and competitive triathlete.