Published July 3, 2019

This 4th Is a Good Time to Remember Positive Results Come from Listening with Respect (part II)

I have previously shared how fortunate I feel on the fourth of July because we live in a country where opinions can be respectfully expressed without fear. 

Two years later more stories in the media bring lots of opinions and opportunities to take sides: immigration law changes, Supreme Court nominations, and the role and obligations of sports figures – starting with Kaepernick’s peaceful demonstration of taking a knee, and now the US Women’s Soccer Team opting to not visit the White House.

Just this morning a thread among franchise friends that started with someone saying they were rooting for the US Team to lose opened up discussion and comments around their disrespect (or is it their RIGHT as US citizens) to not meet with Trump. Should they be forced to do it by the NWSL to go as employees of the league/team? Is disliking the current person holding the position make someone un-American? Members of the franchise community, like most populations within a brand, or a town, or a family, fall on different sides of these arguments. I love seeing the comments; I even pipe in occasionally. Never with the expectation that I will change someone’s mind, but maybe offer perspective from the “other side” from someone they like and respect. 

Now more than ever it is important to let others express their thoughts. We used to survive four (or eight) years of a President we didn’t vote for. But now everything is SO heated, and passionate, and divisive. 

Trying to understand others’ opinions CAN lead to positive change. Franchise brands participate in Franchise Business Review’s franchisee satisfaction survey to do just that. The survey provides franchisees a safe platform to provide constructive feedback regarding what they feel the franchisor is doing well, and where they see opportunity to become a stronger and better brand. Asking franchisees for their opinion and acting upon their ideas, even if only a few, fosters a culture of respect and inclusion. There is little that is more American than this.

The United States is not a perfect country, but it, like franchise systems that place a premium on satisfied franchisees, strives to set high standards regarding the well being of its citizens. As fireworks explode in ribbons and starbursts of beautiful colors around the country this week, I continue to rejoice in the fact that I, as a woman, am able to help lead a company instead of having to remain sequestered in my house until my husband can take me to the market. That I am paid (and pay our team) based on their experience and value to our company, equally. That my daughter and I can talk about the social issues being debated in states and continue to push her to strive for equal rights, voice, and be anything she sets her mind to. There is no place I would rather raise her because being an American still truly rocks!

Find out how Franchise Business Review can help you see positive results by giving franchisees a platform to express their opinions about their experience as a franchisee. Learn more about our franchisee satisfaction surveys.

About the Author: Michelle Rowan

Michelle is the president of FBR, the former Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Women’s Franchise Committee. and a Certified Franchise Executive. She is the recipient of the 2022 Crystal Compass Award, has facilitated CEO Performance Groups and Executive Networking Groups and is also a mentor of UNH college students. When she is not at work she is usually reading, playing outside, or hanging out with her husband and daughter.
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