Recession Proofing

Recession Proofing your kids, your job, your company
Your Kids - keeping them from moving back in after high school or college
The other morning and I was running and I ran past 5 high school kids waiting for the bus. I made eye contact with everyone and said "Good morning." Only one responded with a "Good morning" back. The rest just stared at me like I was an alien or some weirdo.
People are taught not to talk to strangers but that was a little bit over board. The real reason those youths did not respond is that they had very poor people skills. They were not taught to respond in a polite manner. One young man did and he responded enthusiastically.
I remembered their faces and if any one had come to me for a job, only one would have even earned an interview. The problem with those kids not responding is that they were thinking of themselves and that I had nothing to offer them. They did not need to speak to me.
If you are letting your children have the attitude of "I'm important and your not" or "I only do things that make me feel good," that is a sure way to keep them from getting employed. A person who has good people skills is always in demand. A self-centered, narcissistic person is the first to go when people are laid off. Teach your kids to give more in a relationship than they get and they will develop invaluable skills that will take them far.
If you have small kids, teach them to politely greet others. Have them look the adult in the eye and speak. I know of two children who would not return a pleasant "hello" ever since I met them when they were age 5. Their parents always excused their bad behavior by saying they were shy or tired, etc. Actually, the child was just showing to the parent who was boss. Now, both of these children are 10 and 11 and they should know better. I greeted one a few weeks ago and she just stared at me. I could not get a "hello" or "hi" out of her no matter how I prodded. I was offended, not at her, but at her parents for not teaching better manners i.e. people skills. Her parent once again made an excuse why she would not speak to me. This young girl was just acting out what she believed - she was more important than I was and that others don't need to be respected unless she feels like it. Her mother just re-enforced that belief.
Most people think they can be polite when they have to, but, in reality, if you are not polite when you "don't" have to be, you won't be truly polite when you have to be. You won't know how to be polite. People skills - politeness, courtesy, learning to give back, good eye contact, a solid handshake, etc. all tell what type of person you are. First impressions go farther than anyone thinks.
If you don't want your children moving back in with you when times get tough because they were the first to be fired, then teach them people skills. Start while they are young. Teach them to serve others. Get involved as a family in serving someone less fortunate. This is a great way to teach people skills, concern for others, gratitude for what you do have and hard work.
Recession proofing your job or your company
People skills demonstrated in terms of attitude and customer service are ways to add security and build success in your current position. Developing that attitude of "I will do more than I am asked to do" will keep you employed and keep your customers happy.
I talked with someone yesterday who was just laid off because his department had no money for his role. One way to have prevented himself from being laid off is through relationship building and going the extra mile. People who are pro-active in seeing the handwriting on the wall and going beyond the job description are the ones who keep their job. This person might have been able to be pro-active by going to leaders of other departments to see if they needed his skills and offered to work overtime to help. I am not guaranteeing that would have worked but, it was much better than waiting on the pink slip that was obviously coming. Think beyond yourself. Look for ways to improve, make a difference, whether you are paid for it or not. If you do it now, sooner or later you will get paid for it. Do it for your customers. Show them why they can't afford to leave you.
People skills, good communication and going the extra mile are the keys to keeping your job and your company successful. Provide such good customer service that your customer will request you or hire you if you are laid off. Be proactive, add value above others.
Attitude is the key to adding value. Does your attitude say "I give more than I take?" Does your attitude say "I will succeed and bring others with me? or "I can be better and it is up to me to make a difference?" Do your actions demonstrate these attitudes?
To sum it up, people with a polite, customer service oriented atittude will survive these hard economic times. Those with a "WIIFM" attitude (What's in it for me?) will be the ones who are hardest hit.
Teach your children while they are young or you might just have them living with you for a long time. The best way to do this is through example. If you are not doing this, while should your children. More is caught than taught. Same with being the boss. Exemplify a "can do" customer service attitude and ensure that you people get regular training on customer service. This needs to be done on a regular basis. A good book on this subject is Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard. Companies who work hard at keeping their customers will.
Matthew 5:14-16, 41-47
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

These commands are all done by having the right attitude: serve God first, then he will enable me to serve others with the right attitude, energy and opportunity.

That is a radical idea for today's world says "Serve me first: I might serve you if I feel like it or get something from it and I won't ever serve my enemy."

Be a light at work in these hard times. Be a light in your neighborhood. Go help someone in need with words of encouragement, a cup of coffee or a meal.


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