Granting importance to others is a matter of paramount importance to your own future happiness.
When you treat others in a manner that shows they are important to you, you validate their desires to be acknowledged as someone who matters. Whether it is a child you are dealing with or an executive, you will be far more successful when you treat them and their communication with respect.
When you fail to respect others, you demean them and this has profound implications for your future success and happiness. When you demean someone, whether it is intentional or not, you create an enemy.
We have enough trouble in life dealing with our own shortcomings, why ask for trouble by creating enemies?
Failing to respect others on a personal level creates negative publicity that can poison an entire community against us. Failing to grant importance to others in business relationships completely nullifies all of the work that we do in trying to attract new business.
If this is not completely real to you yet, here is a test:
Look back at the last really unsatisfactory experience you had as a customer. I will bet that the thing that pushed you over the edge was not that the company failed to do what they promised, but that they were indifferent to your requests to correct the problem. Then, they really earned your enmity by suggesting that the problem was yours. This is a classic case of not granting importance to others.
A company that views a customer as a source of money, but does not respect the customer as an individual is heading for eventual disaster. Royal Camera is an outstanding example of this, but there are tens of thousands of other companies that focus on generating income, not on developing satisfied customers.
I had a recent experience with a surveying company that illustrates how much upset can be generated by failing to grant importance to others. We ordered a survey of some property and asked that topographical information be included, as this property has some contours which affect placement of the house. We also asked that the house location and septic field be included in the survey. The surveyor assured us that all would be taken care of and he would be out there the next day. No problem!
We got the results of the survey back with no topographical information and the house and septic field were not located on the drawing. I called the surveyor and he could not answer any of my questions, as he had not gone to the site himself. When I started asking for specific details, he began his "good old boy" routine and threw technical terms around to cover up his lack of performance. He even tried to claim that topo information would not be useful as the property is flat. He had never been to the site and the property has a significant slope.
I was trained as a surveyor myself, so I cut through his smokescreen and told him to get us the information we needed. We haven’t seen the results yet, but the experience left us unwilling to recommend this surveyor to anyone else.
He had no concept of granting importance to a customer. He threw out glib assurances of professional delivery with no effort to follow through. When asked about his non-delivery, he failed to remember that he had promised topographical information and tried to BS his way out of the shoddy survey effort.
The non-delivery could have been simple error or incompetence, but the ignoring of a customer’s importance was inexcusable.
One of the most powerful techniques you can employ in remedying a mistake, when you happen to make one, is to respect the customer, acknowledge your mistake, and work out a solution that handles the problem.
This situation does not require an apology or a justification. All that is required is a simple statement that the mistake shouldn’t have happened and what steps you suggest to correct the problem. This handling grants importance to the customer’s complaint and will restore his confidence when executed properly.