The past few weeks, as the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I’ve conducted Question & Answer sessions for students and parents interested in our outbound exchange program for next year. It’s an opportunity to provide details on being a Rotary exchange student to another country, and recruit students to apply. It’s a fantastic program, and as you might imagine, there are many questions.
One of the most common involves the potential countries that students may be sent to. Our district has worked diligently to develop relationships with countries we want to exchange with, and at times have had to terminate relationships due to poor experiences. We are very pleased with our current roster.
That being said, parents are often nervous of certain countries due to what they’ve seen in the news surrounding violence (e.g. France, Belgium). I must then remind them that parents in other countries around the world likely voice similar (if not more vociferous) trepidation about sending their children to the Unites States based on violence they view in the news (e.g. school shootings, gun violence, campus rapes, and more). The sudden realization on the parents faces that I’m speaking to quickly indicate the newfound perspective of peering in the looking glass.
When was the last time you looked at your business from the perspective of an outsider? Are incoming phone calls received with politeness or brusqueness? Is correspondence replied to promptly or belatedly (or never)? When someone walks into your office, will they be impressed or ignored? Do your employees contribute to the community or are they visibly absent? Notice all of my queries are around how people are treated, not your product or service. Business is and has always been about relationships and the “brand” that relationships create. Each person in and of themselves are a brand within a larger organizational one.
When you peer into your own looking glass, what do you see?
Quote of the Week:
“The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”
~ Mignon McLaughlin (American journalist 1913-1983)
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