How dare you ask?!

Say an employee approaches you and asks if she can accept a gift from a supplier. You will ask the usual questions (value of the gift, current negotiations, etc.) and then provide your guidance.

If the answer is “Yes”, or “Yes, and…”, most employees will be satisfied.

If the answer is “Yes, but…”, some employees are likely to push back a little but in the end will accept the advice.

If the answer is “No”, a select few will accuse you of not understanding how business is done and how relationships are created. That’s fine.

The rare and most dangerous kind are the employees who accuse you of not understanding the business before you even say “No”. They get upset at the mere fact that you are asking questions.

Those are the ones you need to keep a close eye on going forward.

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