Published on:

2nd Nov 2016

026: Shelby Scarbrough - Ways to Improve Rapport

Shelby Scarbrough began her career in The White House Office of Presidential Advance, and as a Protocol Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Today, Shelby is an entrepreneur, angel investor, speaker and more. For this week’s topic, Shelby and I discussed how we can improve relationships and build rapport.

Let’s get right into the heart of the matter. It all boils down to dignity and respect, when it comes to building rapport. And no matter what you’re doing, those two things are the only things people want. If you’re the giver, or the receiver, keep those two things in mind, and things will begin, and end, smoothly.

Shelby’s boss, who was President Ronald Reagan, treated everybody with dignity and respect. Based on his actions, this taught Shelby, at an early point in her career, why these two principles were so important. President Reagan’s team even treated others the same way the President did, because they were all representatives of his administration.

When Shelby left the White House, she took her skills and applied them to the business sector. On the outside, Shelby’s work makes people’s lives easier, but when you take a closer look, her work is really to take away all the ‘noise’ of the business, and to help facilitate distraction-free communication.

There are certain protocols that need to be addressed for each company. The more outspoken a CEO is about these protocols, the less intimidating it will be for a new person to join a company and figure out the company culture as they go.

For example, Shelby lives in California, which means she’s able to dress much more casually at business meetings. She’s about to host a speech in Washington next week, so what does that mean for her wardrobe? In order to fit in, and be seen as an expert, she will need to dress up to Washington’s standards.

People often assume that when they’re entering into a new environment, that those people need to adapt to them. This is false. When you enter into a new culture, office, etc, you should be the one adapting to their ways. Though, there is balance between being yourself, and being respectful of other people’s customs.


Interview Links:


Practical Protocol

Shelby Scarbrough on Tedx

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Scaling Up is the best-selling book, by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher and I'm a certified Gazelles business coach. We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).

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