Archive for May, 2009

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Business Apology Tip #9 – Make amends

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Continuing with our series on effective business apologies, let’s turn to the first real action you’ll need to take. Thus far, you’ve mostly talked – investigated the mistake that offended your customer or client, discussed the matter with your lawyer if necessary, apologized, taken responsibility, expressed appreciation, and listened respectfully while your customer or client [...]

A bad bedside manner can get you sued

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

My friend Phil had a bad brush with the medical profession last week when he came down with an especially nasty bug. Shivering with a high fever and muscle aches, Phil felt too sick to wait for an appointment with his regular physician. Instead he went to his local walk-in clinic, seeking immediate care. After [...]

This Memorial Day, remember your heroes

Monday, May 25th, 2009

It’s Memorial Day, the day set aside in the U.S. to honor the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives for our country. It’s also a time to remember your own fallen heroes, the folks who inspired you in your professional life. Today, I’m remembering Jack Turnquist and Dan McCarthy, two legends [...]

Business Apology Tip #8: Listen!

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Continuing with our series on how to apologize effectively to an unhappy client or customer, let’s assume that you’ve taken the first several steps. You investigated the error, notified your attorney if necessary, then decided what you would say and how to say it. Now, you’re with your unhappy customer. You’ve said a sincere “I’m [...]

Back to business as usual? Let’s hope not!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The media were all abuzz recently over the news that the big banks are scrambling to pay back the TARP money they fought so desperately to get just a few months ago. The reason? Apparently banks think that the restrictions on executive compensation that come with TARP funds unreasonably limit their ability to hire the [...]

When it comes to business ethics, you may not need an MBA

Monday, May 18th, 2009

It was great to learn that the website “Construction Management Degree,” a site for people looking to make their careers managing construction projects, thinks this blog is one of 100 “awesome business blogs that are better than an MBA.” (Look, Ma, I’m “awesome”!) Unsolicited kudos are always nice, and I was delighted to make the [...]

Business Apology Tip #7: Express appreciation

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Continuing with our series on how to apologize effectively to an unhappy customer or client, let’s talk about a step that people in business frequently neglect. Once you’ve said a sincere “I’m sorry” and accepted responsibility for your company’s mistake, go the extra mile and express appreciation to your customer or client. What you say [...]

When it comes to ethics, the grass is sometimes greener

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

When I work with organizations to develop their codes of ethics, I frequently encourage them to look beyond their specific fields to see what other professions and industries are doing. They sometimes push back, arguing that their particular areas of expertise are so specialized and technical that no one else could possibly write rules that [...]

When teaching ethics, don’t focus on ambiguity

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Recently, I was called upon to help a professional association organize ethics training for its upcoming annual meeting. The program chair, who was relatively new in the job, told me that he wanted to present case studies with “ambiguous” situations where the attendees could argue whether the association’s code of ethics had been breached or [...]

Business Apology Tip #6 – Take responsibility

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Continuing with our Friday series of tips on business apologies, let’s talk about a step that many people find especially difficult: taking responsibility. Once you’ve said, on your own or your company’s behalf, that you’re sorry, it’s important to tell your unhappy client or customer that you recognize and accept responsibility for your mistake. This [...]

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