When people have treated me badly over the years, I used to become angry or frustrated, now a days I do not care anymore, I smile a little inside and, try to figure out if it is a trained behavior or if I have, by misstake, given them an opportunity to do so.
More and more customers ask for real case trainings, or a workshop where they can train how to respond to different attitudes and different styles, depending on what they are trying to achieve or at least avoid in some circumstances.
It is not about staging a scene where you know the outcome, it is more about working out a flexible strategy where you do not end up being bogged down, entrenched or deadlocked.
In nearly all of our interactions with different customers in different countries, the issues we meet are the same, even though all of them seem to think that they are unique in having these issues with their customers.
Interestingly enough, the behavior we see, and the attitude they use to intimidate our clients, are nearly always the same, and nearly always played out in the same manner.
It may sound a bit awkward but this kind of behavior are in most cases a trained behavior that some companies has put in to practice many years ago, sadly enough.
These companies have been awarded for their bad behavior by suppliers that have given in under pressure over and over again.
In some cases I also know companies where former employees have told me about how they trained the new employees in phoning up their suppliers, just to shout at them and tell them a lot of BS over and over again.
Well, it does not stop there, in some cases it is even put in to practice to send out invoices to their suppliers, most suppliers do not dare to question the content, or worse, are told by management to not confront the client.
Many ask us to train them into how to respond in a proper way, due to that they do not dare to deadlock or walk away from their clients due to how important they are.
Interestingly enough, it is nearly always the same consultants we hear about on the other side, or at least the same three we hear about, or recognise, when it comes to the dirty skills we are up against.
In a way it is like in war, where two countries keep upgrading their weapons, or in the software world where firewalls are updated for new types of viruses that keeps on appearing in our cyber world.
Well, I should be thankful for all the mess and problems that these three consultants keep on stirring up for us, because it keeps us in business.
If I am a bit more serious I must say that it has become praxis now a days to be more competitive and even combative in our business world.
If any of you have seen the TV serie Billions with Bobby Axelrod played by Damian Lewis, then I can say that for many he his personifying what some see as a real business man, where others would call him a real Bxxxxrd.
It is the same in many other branches and in politics, we do not need to agree anymore what should be the rightful way to conduct business, we only have to adapt to how we can respond in a proper way without everything going a-wall.
The new business reality is here to stay, my advice to it all is to adapt or die, if you do not agree with my view of how the world is evolving, then I can only say, the shit-storm is coming your way, it is up to you if you need to be prepared for it or not.
BTW, I enjoy both Billions and House of Cards, they are great to watch, and great to analyze in how I would have counter acted some of the more common collusion situations that occur.
If you remember "Yes, Minister", it is like what a former minister said, it is great to watch, because there's an element of truth in it, no matter how ridiculous it may seem to be.
Christopher Bell Blomquist
Managing director Scotwork Sweden
PS Just so you know, we do not share information about our clients without approval, not even who they are or what they do, the examples we tell on our courses or in our cases, are all approved and the companies are made anonymous.