When Customers Dance – Is it time to reflect?

The email read – “I will give you a call as soon as I stop dancing around the office…. :-)”

Now this is a happy customer! It made my Friday and the team was able to celebrate with high fives all around. We helped her find not 1 but 2 perfect fit employees that she could not wait to get onboard.

When things go well like this – when our strategy, process and expertise all line up to deliver great results it is time to pause and examine what worked and why. But why? It worked, we do this well every day – just rinse and repeat right? Wrong.

I have been in the habit of always peeling apart an event when it goes wrong. Yes, we need to do this, but it is often painful or even embarrassing for those involved. We need to be sensitive, encourage better process, or note a lesson learned. As hard as I try, I know I still come across as ‘the boss’ and maybe even undermine morale if I am not able to deal with my own frustration or exasperation before I open my mouth. I get enough feedback on this from my kids and husband to know that I have some improving to do in this area.

However, to my delight, if I engage the team to peel back a success and share what worked – wow – totally different energy! It is exciting, fun, the team is able to take pride in their skill and effective communication. We can point out all the great things they did, encourage them to share with other team members, build a sense of pride. When a team or leader does this on a regular basis who wouldn’t want to ensure they deliver over the top client experiences.

Plus, even though you are meddling in how your very experienced and competent team is working, no one gets irritated or offended because it is all positive recognition and the process is making a positive contribution to the team.

So good news – you can influence your team to focus more on process improvement, skill enhancement and exceeding client expectations by celebrating and examining the wins. It might even buy you some grace when you diplomatically need to peel back something that didn’t quite work as you would like. In other words, when you come across as a control freak.

So try it out – catch people succeeding and peel these events back for team learning and engagement. It is much more fun and, by the way, more likely to ensure you keep your top performers and engage others to become top performers. This is what makes me dance!

Leanne Abraham is President of Premierehire, an executive search and staffing company that works closely with company leaders to help them attract, recruit and retain top performers. Their highly consultative approach includes in depth psychometric assessments and ongoing coaching throughout the onboarding process. Leanne writes on leadership, team development, and how to attract & retain top performers.

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