‘Sorry, I can’t help you with that. It’s not my department.’
‘There’s nothing I can do, we’re under orders from above.’
‘The powers that be have decided that we don’t have a choice.’
‘Senior management didn’t approve it.’
‘I would say yes, but my boss said no.’
‘The company doesn’t have enough budget to support you.’
‘We can’t do that due to compliance.’
All of the above statements might be factually correct but none of them engender trust, loyalty or connection with people who matter. Moreover, all of them abdicate responsibility to someone else, somewhere else.
They’re weak, hollow statements and lack any ownership of the situation.
When we stand in front of customers (literally or metaphorically) we’re an extension of our business.
We are our business.
We all have to deal with difficult situations or deliver difficult messages from time to time.
But follow the lead of the statements above and you risk not delivering any statements to that customer or person ever again. No one wants to feel second-rate, palmed-off or unworthy of someone being accountable.
So front it up. Deliver the message. Take responsibility. Demonstrate ownership. Take it on the chin.
Those things matter.
And they engender trust, loyalty and connection.
All possible points of differentiation.