"You can't handle the truth!"

How often have any of us as professional communicators had clients who are critically and, perhaps, maniacally focused on external audiences to the detriment of their own folks?

Even worse, what about those clients who worry that employees, “can’t handle the truth!”

The best businesses – whether B2C or B2B – understand that healthy, open and transparent long term relationships with clients are the key to sustained business growth and profitability. 

Most CEOs or CMOs do not “own” the relationship with each and every client.  The people who work for them do.  So, the bosses need to commit to maintaining healthy, open and transparent relationships with their employees.

The folks interacting with clients need to know what’s going on in and around the business so the clients know they are dealing with informed professionals working in a culture that values them. 

Importantly, employees deserve to know the good, the bad and the ugly, so long as sharing such information does not jeopardize the the company’s competitive positioning.  Some companies, especially privately held ones, share such information even if it does.

Employees (colleagues, associates, whatever you call them) are the most important asset of any company.  Invest in them.  Trust them.  Help them to be better professionals. 

Relationships – personal and professional – are based on trust.  It’s not rocket science!

If your team trusts you, the people with whom they are dealing will trust them. 

That’s the best way to retain and grow your business.

Post by Nick Vehr – 11.21.09