Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Treat People Like People, Not Roles

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 22, 2009

How do you feel when someone treats you as a role, rather than as a person? Think, for example, of the salesperson or customer service representative who treats you like a customer by reading their scripts to you over the phone or using obvious closing techniques before you are ready to buy. Or there’s the manager who treats you as a subordinate or even the parent who treats you like a child long after you’ve become an adult.

When we get into playing roles, we stop being authentic. If I believe I have to act like a manager, I will focus on myself and what I am doing or saying, rather than focusing on the person I am with. There are many roles managers attempt to play: There’s the "I’m smarter than you" role, the "I’m the boss" role, and the "I’m a great leader" role, to name just a few.

Not only do these roles diminish trust with employees, they decrease engagement, commitment, and productivity.

Only when I see myself as a person dealing with another person, no matter what our roles, can I focus on the needs of others and on creating value. What are you teaching your managers, salespeople, and customer service representatives… to play a role, or to build trust by being authentic?

Keith Ayers
Integro Leadership Institute
Sydney, Australia

Post a comment



Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!