The holiday season is rife with platitudes.
Things people say they don’t really mean.
“Thank you soooo much for the yellow argyle socks!”
“Honey – I’m not implying anything with the gift of a treadmill.”
“The office party was great even without the open bar.”
But the art of MOPFI – making other people feel important – doesn’t require you to say much of anything at all. You can give the gift of MOPFI by simply listening.
Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, is famous for listening. Branson has been knighted, oversees 400 companies under the Virgin brand, and is worth over $4B, so he’s famous for other things too.
Branson is in constant pursuit of understanding his customers. What they think. How they feel. What they have to say about Virgin. Branson makes notes of the feedback and keeps hundreds of books chronicling the information.
In Tom Peters’ 100 Ways to Help You Succeed/Make Money, the business guru recounts a story about Branson.
Branson’s driver noted how the billionaire was constantly questioning and listening during one recent 90-minute drive. Branson was truly interested in how the driver viewed the world. The driver noted, “the whole bit made me feel as though I had something important to say.”
Branson exemplified MOPFI. With over 400 companies hanging the Virgin logo on the front door, I bet Branson knew this chap behind the wheel was a customer or prospect for at least one of his companies.
Make a resolution to slow down and listen to your tradesmen in 2013. Frequently the individuals doing the work everyday have great ideas to improve the job in ways that have not yet been considered or implemented. If the tradesmen are Hispanic, don’t assume there is a language barrier.
All you have to do is ask… and then listen.
If Branson has time to MOPFI, maybe you can make some time too.
Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry. He similblogs these posts at Professional Builder’s Housing Zone.
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