Friday, November 26, 2010

Centered Service

How do you treat your team members when it comes to delivering top notch service to customers? What if some of those customers are difficult? REALLY difficult?

Can you possibly take care of customers without first taking care of your team members?

That means that we do not sacrifice team members at the alter of service. Yes, customers are entitled to great service but NO, they don't get to trash our team members in the process.

One of my current team members tells me of a story about working at Trader Vic's. He said that if a customer abused you, the manager politely walked that customer out of the store. Abuse of team members was never welcome. Abusive customers can shop someone else.

Centered leaders satisfy customers without sacrificing team members.

In the end, that leads to better service for everyone.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Monday, November 22, 2010

Today's Challenge

CHALLENGE:
Catch as many people as possible today doing a great job and thank them enthusiastically.

Not just a little "thank-you". Not just an email. Thank them with big energy. Let them know WHY what they did was important and HOW it will help you. What is the benefit? Why is this a big deal?

It will make a BIG difference in their day and in your future!

-- Douglas Brent Smith


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clarify Before Criticizing

Have you ever said something incredibly critical about someone only to find out later that you were wrong?

It's a tough situation for a leader. It can be embarrassing. You can find out that the person you criticized was correct in the long wrong and far more important to you than you'd ever realized.

I've jumped to conclusions at times only to look for ways to jump back to where I'd started. The trouble is, there's no reverse gear to conclusion jumping. You get where you're headed, whether you like it there or not.

As a result, I tell myself to pull back a little before making that jump.

What does it mean to be truly centered? How do effective leaders make the best of their information, make intelligent choices, and avoid jumping to conclusions?

Centered leaders clarify before criticizing.

Ask questions. Listen carefully. Suspend judgement. Smile.

Remember, it's almost never too late to criticize, if that's what you really want to do and if that's what really serves you best. Surprisingly often, though -- it's NOT what serves you best.

Try it out today. If an impulse arises to criticize someone (whether they're actually with you or not), stop. Think about it. Clarify .

Everyone does something for a reason. Do you know what that person's reasons are?

Centered leaders clarify before criticizing -- and often leave the criticizing behind in favor of exploration -- and collaboration.

-- Douglas Brent Smith

Learn more in the workshop: Communicating for Results