Humanize Yourself First, Then Humanize Your Business

Humanize Yourself First, Then Humanize Your Business

Too often we forget that change needs to happen internally (our own behaviors) before we can expect anyone else to follow suit. It’s like the manager who emails his team during the midnight hours but preaches work life balance on Monday morning. It’s a valuable life lesson well beyond the little world of “social business” that we all live in. Just ask any parent.

We, in this space, talk a lot about the need for business to become more “human”, preach the humanization of brands, throw the “trust” word around carelessly and beg for transparency. But the truth is a brand or business will never completely reach humanity; unless employees within the organization first change their own behaviors, starting from the CEO on down to the customer support agent. And even then, it’s still just a business and marketing program.

This means that the business leaders have to do more than just say, “hey, we are a social business” but actually exemplify the behaviors they are preaching to the rest of the organization. In other words, they should:

  • put their money where their mouths is
  • write their own blogs, tweets
  • stop having the department admin write important team memos
  • hold teams accountable for collaboration
  • get out of their offices and collaborate with everyone
  • trust employees

One thing is for certain. Behaviors travel across the organization through copying and imitation. And when business leaders change the way they work and communicate, it’ll hopefully spread like an epidemic and everyone else will eventually follow. Then, we can have a more meaningful “humanize the brand” conversation.

Read Humanize by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter. It’s a fantastic read that brings this all into perspective. Highly recommended.

Image: StockFresh Mannequins

About Michael Brito

Michael Brito has been making things happen online since 1996 with a legit hustle. He gets mad when the 49ers lose, really mad. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

  • Martz Hobert

    Great point!  Every entrepreneur or business owner should be ethical, transparent, and communicate not only to customers but also to their employees (if necessary) if they want to be successful in their business.  Communication is the key!

  • Nick Stamoulis

    One important way to humanize your business is to hold social accounts in actual people’s names, and not just hide behind the brand name.  If a social account is in the name of the President or CEO, people will feel more of a connection. 

  • Erin Larson,

    Interesting thoughts, Michael! But does this mean to encourage us to get off the computer and back to face-to-face interaction? Does “humanizing” ourselves make social media less relevant? How do you balance the need for “humanization” with the need for social media?
    Erin Larson,