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Beyond The Firm Handshake – Essential Woman Magazine
Business Ethics

Beyond The Firm Handshake

Bidemi Zakariyau
Written by Bidemi Zakariyau

Operating a business ethically- with integrity and honesty, represents a key component in attracting new clients and maintaining positive business relationships. Requiring a high level of character from all employees and business partners can help set your business apart from others and lead to the development of trust within the community you are in.

As an entrepreneur, a great sense of Character is a very important factor. People relate with you based on not only what you can bring to the table but also what is deposited in you. It’s very unlikely that a healthy client relationship can exist without the fundamental test of virtue.

On one hand when hiring, ‘the character check’ rates first on my list as skills can easily be acquired through learning, training and experiences but unfortunately character can hardly be taught. Its either they have it or not. Regardless of exhibited promise, when it comes down to sustaining working relationships, Character is key.

On the other hand, too, there is the client or potential client in question. What professional impressions do you exude? I find myself observing the little details at meetings. Clients’ engagement with others – personal assistants, cleaners and general staff -Without awareness, a professional character is reflected in the subtleties of interaction.

Crisis management skills also tells me who my client is more than anything else. Based on our first few meetings, a potential client’s sense of character can be gauged.

Experience is a constant tutor. We are sometimes so good at hiding our real selves while trying to make great impressions.

What appeared a promising interviewee may let you down due to character flaws. Decisions to end work relationships with clients may be born out of a poor exhibition of respect. Is it or is it not a power play? Character is always inevitably a defining factor, so we make in our professional lives, decisions to let go of once promising work relationships. The importance of Character in the business landscape further sets the tone for how businesses operate.

When considering character and the impact it may have on your business, examine the core values often related to character.

This includes operating in a trustworthy manner, demonstrating respect at every opportunity and taking responsibility for your actions. Beyond these, showing concern and doing the right thing, even when difficult, represent characteristics found in individuals living and operating in an ethical manner.

Ethics is the true basis and foundation of any successful, brand, business establishment or professional.

Bidemi Zakariyau

Bidemi Zakariyau is the CEO of LSF|PR – A public relations agency which she founded in 2012 while she was in Law School. Bidemi handles the day–to-day management of LSF|PR and currently leads a team of six women in creating communications strategy for the agency’s clients. She is actively involved in advising clients on critical communications strategies and issues. Her work reflects the international scope and breadth of the agency’s offering and has included counselling clients on entry strategies into the Nigerian Market and ongoing corporate reputation building efforts. An African, She saw the early potential in Africa and has since successfully consulted for multinational companies and startups looking to expand their businesses in the region. She has helped local companies increase visibility and trade globally.

About the author

Bidemi Zakariyau

Bidemi Zakariyau

Bidemi Zakariyau is the CEO of LSF|PR – A public relations agency which she founded in 2012 while she was in Law School.

Bidemi handles the day–to-day management of LSF|PR and currently leads a team of six women in creating communications strategy for the agency’s clients. She is actively involved in advising clients on critical communications strategies and issues. Her work reflects the international scope and breadth of the agency’s offering and has included counselling clients on entry strategies into the Nigerian Market and ongoing corporate reputation building efforts.

An African, She saw the early potential in Africa and has since successfully consulted for multinational companies and startups looking to expand their businesses in the region. She has helped local companies increase visibility and trade globally.

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