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Personalization Principle #6: Friendly

Friendly people rule! Mean people suck.

As a customer, why would you ever give your money to a place of business that has rude, mean or inhospitable people?  One rude person can ruin years of loyalty.  Friendly people can create decades of loyalty.

Why is it that Southwest Airlines has had such great performance since their founding days and still continues to excel today?  They figured out early that if they hired friendly people they could train them for the specific role that they needed.

What I have learned and what I believe the best leaders have learned is that you cannot train friendly.  I think friendly and the values of being nice are ingrained or not at a very early age.

I think in business and in life the people who have achieved the most success, the most happiness, the most peace, the most prosperity and the best health, typically surround themselves with other fun, friendly human beings.

Being nice and friendly creates positivity and abundance.  Being rude or mean shuts down creativity and creates a mentality of scarcity.

Over the past 6 weeks, as we have talked about the powerful Personalization Principles (#1 Authenticity, #2 Hospitality, #3 Empathy, #4 Commitment, #5 Competency, plus stay tuned for #7 next week) the principle of Friendliness is one that takes good assessment and good recruitment to ensure that you don’t let mean people through your firewall.

You may ask, “How can we have a business of only friendly people?”  I would counter with asking, “How could you not?"  What I am talking about is ensuring you have a team of people who care about other human beings and love is part of their daily lexicon.

I think it is totally cool that Southwest Airline’s stock symbol is LUV.  They show love and differentiate themselves with fun, friendly people.  But here is an important note -- just because they are fun and friendly does not mean that they are not totally professional and safe, which is what you want when getting in an airplane.  What they are not is corporate, stiff, starched shirts, who read the same monologue or hit the same tape that you have heard a million times.

Nice is the new black today.  Friendly wins.  Rude and mean lose every single time.

If you want your customers to stay longer, buy more and refer others it is critically important that you and your team espouse and ooze friendliness with each and every interaction.

Hey, you leaders out there -- that means being friendly each and every time you interact with your talent too.

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Peter Psichogios is the President of Global Engagement Solutions whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining GES Peter Psichogios served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard, leading the large-scale e-Learning and employee engagement initiatives. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500 and many of the world's fastest growing companies, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.