Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Personal Growth--The only way to keep up with constant change

In any industry, with technology increasing the pace at which our environments change, our ability to keep up with that change is dependent upon our own openness to personal growth.  I was speaking with a friend yesterday who described a very challenging work situation where he has a set of colleagues who appear to setting him up for failure, in an attempt to advance their own careers.  To address this, he has taken the approach of including other parties on their dialogue, but remaining factual at all times, while still being helpful.   This served effectively as a way to disarm the other party, as they found that they were in a different position with their activity known to the word.  For this to be effective, this required that my friend not take anything personally, and remain committed to this person's success in spite of their apparent motives.   The ability to take this approach did not come overnight, but required many evenings of frustrating discussions, until the solution became obvious to them.  Whether we look at someone's willingness to return to school for a career change, someone's ability to step up their level of performance for a new position, or their ability to deal with a difficult person, personal growth is common to all of these situations.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Working with a Diversity of Customers

Diversity and inclusion also both come into play where customers are involved.   We have customers with very different communications styles--one who prefers texts, another emails, another phone calls, and another in person visits (and one customer who communicates through all modes)--and learning their styles took some time as our relationship deepened.   In terms of how we serve them, some customers prefer to ask us specifically for what they want (like ordering a la carte at a restaurant), while another comes to us with a few general objectives and says "I'll give you a week or two and tell me what you can come up with."  Understanding the variations on customers has been very important in maintaining our long terms relationships.

It is more obvious when selling to consumers---regional differences, tendencies along ethnic lines, preferences that more women have then men, etc.--but invisible differences that customers may have are just as significant.