I’m writing about rudeness not because I don’t have thick skin – that’s a necessity if you’re going to be in sales and leadership. But rather to let other consultants and leaders know if they experience rudeness, they’re not alone and there are ways to handle those situations.
Maybe because I’m from the older generation – okay not older by society standards but more so by direct sales standards – I don’t have much tolerance for rudeness and disrespect. I’m nearing half way to one hundred and this industry can tend to attract a large population of 20- and 30- something year old independent consultants. Not at all saying everyone in this age group is rude (no hate mail please) just that it’s a different generation than some of us old timers.
We could probably have a lengthy discussion on the merits of changing generations and “back in my day” type conversations. For example, back in my day there was no Time Out. There was Get-Your-Dupa-Over-Here-and-Bend-Over-So-I-Can-Give-You-Some-Discipline. Darn tootin’ I never did that again. By the way, don’t ever tell your dad “That didn’t hurt”. Just sayin’.
But I digress. Back to rudeness; specifically of team members. It happens. Fortunately the good far outweighs the bad, else who would want to enter into direct sales? I work with some absolutely phenomenal, kind, sweet, respectful, independent business owners. I also have some who ignore me. That’s okay. Sometimes silence is golden. It’s the ones who feel they need to be snarky, snippy, and lippy make me question what kind of business owner they are and if they treat their upline like that, how do they treat their customers? Yikes.
If you are an upline who encounters some rude team members remember:
- Gripe up; and praise sideways and down. If you’re frustrated talk to your upline, not your peers or downline.
- Don’t take it personally. Whatever her (or his) problem is, don’t own it as your own (unless of course you deserve a good tongue lashing, but I highly doubt that is the case, right?)
- Don’t let a couple rotten apples spoil the whole bunch. Stay focused on how most team members are gems.
- No matter how badly people treat you, never drop down to their level. It will only excite them more. Nothing good can come of it.
- Just because you’re the sponsor or upline does not mean you need to be a doormat. Be BIFF. Biff? Yes, B.I.F.F. Respond with the least amount of information to bring the issue or attitude to a close. Brief. Informative. Friendly. Firm. (Do a search on “BIFF Responses” if you’d like to learn more about this methodology.)
- Not everything requires a response or rebuttal. Che Guevara says that “Silence is argument carried out by other means.”
Direct sales is a great industry. I wouldn’t have been in it for the past 25 years if it sucked. However any time you work with a diverse group of people, personalities and attitudes are bound to clash at times. They say that death and taxes are inevitable. I also add that periodic personality clashes are also inevitable. Just don’t let them determine if you’ll stay or go in direct sales. Hold your head high; keep on keeping on. Remember, don’t let the turkeys get your down. Soar with the eagles.
See you at the top!