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When Does Great Service Happen?

When Does Great Service Happen?

Management covers a lot of ground. Managing with Aloha covers nineteen universal business values, and thus that number, nineteen, is just the beginning when it comes to the different topics people will ask me to speak on. Still, preferences fall along certain lines at any given time, and there are runaway winners when it comes to the hot topics of the day. It’s fascinating to me how these preferences emerge, from market influences to unemployment rates, from ‘trendy’ learning initiatives to stubborn resistance to change.

Chronic frustration is a frequent driver: A few months ago the topic requested most was The Reinvention of Human Resources. Nowadays, it seems nearly everyone is asking me to speak about The Art of Ho‘okipa (hospitality) in Service.

Mediocrity is running rampant in customer service, and people are sick of it. In fact, the alarming trend is that mediocrity is starting to look okay next to the flagrantly bad service examples we keep running into.

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WE WANT GREAT SERVICE! We want it for ourselves as consumers, and we want to be the ones providing it in our businesses, sealing the deal on our competitive advantage in the process. We want better service, we are extremely tired of not getting it, and we are looking for answers as to how we can get it to happen — guaranteed.

So I give the motivational speeches, and I enjoy giving them, optimistically hoping that something will resonate and sink in, for I want great customer service to happen more often too. I want it to happen all the time. Today and for you, without the full-blown 45-minute keynote that normally accompanies it, I can cut to the chase and give you my take on what the answer is, that is, when great service will happen consistently in your company. I think there are only two parts to it, but you need both, not one or the other.

When does great service happen?

1. When you have hired the right people in the first place, and
2. When you take care of them really really well, providing them with a workplace that is as exceptional as the service you expect them to give others.

You can only get great service from people who sincerely and genuinely love giving it, and who love where they work. Read that again; the word is LOVE, not like. We want GREAT service, not just passably good service. Great service only comes from people who are passionate about it.

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Great customer service providers are born and not made. I believe that you can’t train the service gene into someone. You have to find the people who have it, hire them instantly, and then take care of them as the precious gold they are. The people who give us the best service do so because they live to give it. They feel that their own lives are better because they have the opportunity to be of service to their fellow human beings. In Hawaii, we even have a name for these gems of the human race; we call them Mea Ho‘okipa. In old Hawaii, to be called Mea Ho‘okipa was the highest compliment you could receive; serving others was considered noble.

Nobility in Customer Service. What a concept! We need it back. Put the wrong people in the wrong job, and it just isn’t going to happen. The good news is that Mea Ho‘okipa are not that rare. However cease to take EXCEPTIONAL care of those who are in the right job and they have no wellspring to draw from in their own giving. They need to fuel their fire for service giving, and that’s where great managers come in, creating caring workplaces for those who care for the customer.

That’s it. Not a difficult answer. The difficulty is in the execution though, isn’t it.

The other good news? I have faith in you; we can do this.

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Thank you for reading, I’ll be back next Thursday. On every other day, you can visit me on Talking Story, or on www.ManagingWithAloha.com. Aloha!

Rosa Say
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

Previous Thursday Column: What’s the difference between Mission and Vision?

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Rosa Say

Rosa is an author and blogger who dedicates to helping people thrive in the work and live with purpose.

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

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2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

Give yourself more credit than that.

You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

In the end, you were fine.

Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

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When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

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5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

6. Effort Matters, So Use It

It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

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Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

7. Start With Something Manageable

You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

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