Danielle V. Minson — Raising the Bar
Fundamental #9: Create a Tone of Friendliness and Warmth
Fundamental #9: CREATE A TONE OF FRIENDLINESS AND WARMTH. Every interaction, whether it’s face-to-face, a phone call, e-mail, letter, or even a voicemail, makes an impression. Pay attention to every interaction to make sure that you’re displaying a tone of friendliness, warmth, and helpfulness. This is as true for every member of our extended community as it is for the wealthy donor.
I’m getting a bit annoyed that here’s another one of our 30 Fundamentals, that leaves me little to preach about—because we already embody this. We already create a tone of friendliness and warmth.
But I learned about this one in a harsh and awkward way. A few years ago, I was attending one of the thousands of fundraising dinners my job has required. As I always try to do, during a lull I circulated—going table to table and greeting community leaders and Federation supporters, including a past Federation president. The next day, I had a phone message from one of our partner agency’s executive directors. He told me that his board president was upset because I had snubbed him at the dinner.
Apparently, his new, current board president was the son-in-law of the Federation past president I had greeted. I chose not to respond that I was not acquainted with his new board president because that would have made matters worse.
Instead, I wrote a note to his new board president apologizing for my oversight.
But I was struck by this. I had not paid attention to every interaction to make sure that I was displaying friendliness.
And this new agency board president noticed. He really noticed.
Now if I say hello to someone at a table, I do my best to at least smile and nod at the others around them. This has prevented me from repeating my mistake, as far as I know.
Please let me know if you have tips or suggestions to bring this Fundamental to life.
And thanks for being part of our Friendly, Warm, Helpful team culture!
See here for Shep’s comments on all the fundamentals so far.