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The Basis for “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s How You Treat Them”

July 15, 2010

Have you ever wondered why some seem to have the “magic” of being able to connect with people in business, while others just seem to struggle? It truly seems sometimes as though some people “have it,” while some people simply don’t. And, what is “it” anyhow?

Well, the “it” is what this book is all about. “It” is the most significant differentiator businesspeople can have in today’s challenging business environment. “It” has become a lost art in too many cases, something that has gone by the wayside. Truly effective leaders make powerful use of “it.” You’ll find it tough to become a leader these days without “it.”  

Our term for this powerful secret weapon? “SocialSmarts.” SocialSmarts refers to the collection of social skills, character traits and abilities you need to effectively build, nurture, and develop lasting connections with staff, employees, vendors, and customers. In today’s business environment, where so much emphasis and energy is spent on individual progress and achievement, the business person who takes a different approach in his or her business dealings is certain to be noticed.

This is true particularly when that approach is one that is less self-centered and self-absorbed than what appears to be the societal norm.

So goes the Introduction to my new book (It’s Not Who You Know, It’s How You Treat Them: Five SocialSmarts Secrets Today’s Business Leaders Need to Stand Out and Be Successful). The premise behind the book was to take those lessons we teach kids in school all across the country in our SocialSmarts program, and adapt them to business use.

You see, it’s not just our kids today who have somehow lost the ability to be kind and compassionate to one another, we “grownups” have largely lost our way, too.  In fact, many people will argue that it’s because of the modeling the adults do that the kids are losing their kindness and basic social “get along” factor (in reality, there are many, many different reasons for why kids are coming into life inadequately equipped with the social and interpersonal abilities they need, but that’s a topic for another post).

Business has been “dog eat dog” for so long that we’ve become conditioned to think and act as though business is a zero sum game.  Deborah Norville received a lot of attention a year ago when she published her latest book, “The Power of Respect” and she makes a good point: leading with respect and treating people in a respectful, considerate manner is always the right thing to do and yields better results.

I talk about the “Power of Respect” in my book (and I’ve actually been speaking on this topic for quite some time) and other crucial attitudes and actions today’s business leaders NEED to really be different and to achieve better results. As I say in the book,

By learning and employing the Five SocialSmarts Secrets recommended in the coming chapters, you’re likely to find that you’ll achieve more of what you want, more easily and with less stress,and get a lot less of what you don’t want.

I think that’s a good thing. While it applies in business (and I show you specific things you can do in your professional life to apply the “SocialSmarts Secrets” as part of each chapter’s “takeaways”), it also is very appropriate for life in general.

So far the book has gotten great feedback based on the previews.  I’ve made a sample chapter available for a free download for folks who want to learn more.  You can find the link to the sample chapter here. After you’ve had a chance to read it, I’d love to hear what you think!  Feel free to comment here, or on the book’s Facebook page.

In the coming days leading up to the book’s official launch, I’ll post some more from it so check back often!

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