What we may try to forget is that every person with whom we engage will have an opinion. When coupling this with what is the age of rapid information, it seems as though we avoid, or possibly hope, that not every person will put an opinion into the network. Unfortunately, as brick-and-mortar businesses feel the increasing burden of internet shopping, guest satisfaction, too, is becoming increasingly difficult. This mere example is relative to each human interaction. Take an earlier statement about responding to every applicant: Auto-reply emails thanking an applicant for applying are decent. However, a mention that not everyone will be contacted due to a high volume of applications is unacceptable. If someone takes the time to apply at your company, then they deserve a final word beyond that automatic reply. If your company is understaffed or lazy, then hire someone for the main duty of replying to every applicant. Genuine closure for applicants can increase brand protection.
Not only can giving time to each applicant increase the protection of a brand, it can become the promotion of the brand. Recently, when applying for an average health-care position, I was turned down based on being overqualified and seeking a rate of pay that was higher than the organization was willing to pay. How did I find out? Simply, I replied to the recruiters genuine email that informed me of being turned down. Every few years, when making a transition from one organization to another, because I tend to go where needed, this situation presents itself. Therefore, every few years when in the realm of finding the next great organization or ladders to climb, I will end up asking the recruiter for advice. Returning to the recent exchange, it was a mix of being a mid-level leader and a pay, one that I set as a minimum, outside of the organization’s allowable wage. Despite the complex ingredients that match a candidate with an organizational role, the recruiter not only kept me hopeful, he kept me engaged in the organization as a whole. Overall, I would definitely seek health-care needs from the organization based on how staff cared for my spouse and how the recruiter cared for me. As we know, no one is required to further oblige a candidate once the candidacy process closes.
Authenticity is a challenging realm in which to perform as it requires empathy, open-mindedness, and the sometimes-frightful face of honesty. As organizations slowly bring emotional intelligence, collaborative intelligence, and authentic leadership to the forefront, empathy is the simplest beginning to navigating our interactions. Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes, and remember that someone else’s shoes will never truly fit, allows a person to open the floor to ideas anew. The belief that empathy cannot be applied to peer mentorship in environments such as retail or high-stakes investment banking is simply absurd; if two people step into the places of one another, then perhaps the empathetic understanding of rewards and risks will charter new territory for securing additional guests of loyalty and multi-million-dollar accounts. Honesty holds hands with the empathetic because you would not want to lose a guest in your store who may hold stock in your company, or even hold a lofty account from which may be beneficial down the road, should you sell something on the hot-item list versus what they actually want to buy. This complex is authentic and the rewards remain significant while the risks become minimal. This is nothing new to the concept that you should treat every interaction as if it could be the last.
Every person is a stakeholder as every engagement is an opportunity for expansion in personal and professional ways. Authenticity is more rewarding than anything else. If you are able to be yourself while respecting the brand for which you enrolled to promote, then risk is minimized. The empathetic presence that one person may bring to the table of those under conflicting views may be the key-holding, tie-breaking professional for a merger to continue forward. If you are shopping for dinner items after work, and you notice that someone has dropped some of their items, then just help or at least acknowledge that you are available to help, because your personal brand, too, relies on honest engagement in the coexistence of this diverse world. Each of us is a stakeholder at different levels of varying fields, and we should remember to practice this as often as possible, including the suggestion to our peers and supervisory members that we should do better at responding to each applicant, inquiry, person, or professional in her/his own right.
J. W. Nadolski is an author of abstractions for his personal brand and authenticity and encouragement for his professional brand. He holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. His passions are in talent development and people operations, otherwise known as human resources, and writing to motivate anyone and everyone. He resides in the beautiful granite state of New Hampshire with husband and two felines.