A wise woman and powerful coach told me this once: “How we do one thing is how we do everything.” Ever since then, I have discovered a lot of evidence for that. I see evidence for it everywhere. The degree to which my car is clean is very similar to how clean my kitchen is and my house and my desk. I’m about a 90%-clean kinda person, and as I look around, it’s all about 90% clean. I’m fairly frugal. I notice that I have the wardrobe, make-up collection, shoes, office accessories and furniture of a fairly frugal person. So how is this useful in business?

This has been extremely valuable in vetting and screening people to join our team. You might find this useful in vetting people for your teams. How they apply, what they write in their initial inquiry, if/how they follow up is all pretty consistent with how they sound on the phone, how they respond to a text and how they show up on video. The level of polish, professionalism, business-mindedness, casualness – you can see the level of all of this if you look closely. There is certainly no right way to be as an applicant, but you know what you want on your team, or what your organization or clients need. Right from the get-go and all through the interviewing process, ever thing they say and do is a clue to what they will say and do in the future. (And yes, we know everyone tries to sound perfect in the beginning as an applicant, but if you have a long enough vetting process, their true colors will be revealed.)

There are a lot of similarities with clients as well. How they handle their invoices, communication with our CEO, communication with their EA, etc. all has a similarity to it. It might be short and curt. It might be long-winded and apologetic. There is nothing particularly right or wrong about any of it. I have simply found it useful to notice that in many cases, how someone does one thing is how they do much of life.

I look at this with our prospects also. We might have one that says, “I want to start Immediately!” and then takes weeks to get the contract signed. Not a big issue, but this could be how it will be to work with them in the long haul. Or this might be a one-off situation for them.

This notion that how people do one thing is how they do everything, also helps me from taking things too personally. That person who was long-winded with you and kept you on the phone five times longer than needed – they just do that in life with most people. It’s not about you. That person who cried and was upset – they just do that in life with most people. That person who apologizes all the time. That is how they roll. Nothing wrong with that or with them. This is how they react to many things in life. Their reaction is not about you or me. That can be a relief to remember!