I had an interesting conversation with a business leader once. He essentially discounted the need for coaching because (he said) he was in the business of manufacturing a certain product and not in the PEOPLE business.
With all due respect, he was missing the entire point of his business.
We are all in the same business – the PEOPLE business.
Ultimately, it is not about your product and process. It is about the PEOPLE you work with, and the PEOPLE you serve.
We have all had days when our course was changed – for better or for worse – by an encounter with just one person. Stop at the coffee shop on your way to the office and receive stellar service with a smile, and your day is off to a great start. (Granted, some of that can be attributed to a good cup of coffee as well.)
But stop at that shop and get in line behind a cranky customer being served by an unpleasant clerk who hates their job, and your day will suddenly take a turn to the dark side. The caliber of your day is very much determined by PEOPLE.
As a leader, think about how your PEOPLE set the tone for your business.
And consider for a moment that you are also one of those PEOPLE.
• What happens when clients visit your office or call on the phone?
• Are your customer service representatives trained, encouraged, motivated, and empowered to provide the best experience possible with every customer encounter?
• How well do your teams work together? Is there collaboration…or rivalry?
• Are your product development teams focused on the desires of the PEOPLE you serve?
• How would your team rate your leadership? Do you “have their back” as much as you expect them to have yours?
It is clear.
We are in the PEOPLE business.
If there is a problem, it is very often a PEOPLE problem.
Now here’s the good news: The solution is also PEOPLE.
Here is a quick way to determine if you and the PEOPLE in your organization are part of the problem or part of the solution.
Take a look at the PEOPLE in your organization, including yourself. Which attitudes do you see? Any pilot will tell you that attitude determines altitude. With the right attitude at every level in your organization, your company can soar.
Attitudes don’t just happen. They are practiced.
How do you overcome the problems in your organization?
1. Determine the issues beneath the problems.
Very often, PEOPLE issues are tied to unmet needs. In a previous article, we talked about the “11 Essential Needs of Employees.” I urge you to read it if haven’t already. It is a powerful lesson. By meeting these needs, you can create a team of solution-focused PEOPLE in your organization.
2. Work with your team to actively practice the solutions – to be Positive, Encouraging, Onboard, Pleasant, a Leader, and Engaged.
Show me a leader who practices these attitudes and instills them in his or her team, and I will show you an outstanding organization. There is an added benefit. Leaders and teams who express the solutions mindset generate a loyal customer base who reflect those attitudes as well. It becomes a win-win situation.
3. Focus on the PEOPLE.
In business, focus is key. Process and products are catalysts. But the real focus – the one that truly determines your success – is PEOPLE. Are you focusing on the PEOPLE you serve and the team who serves with you?
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.