Strong, healthy personal relationships are built on strong foundation of communication, trust and mutual understanding. So how do you build those qualities and relationships with your service team?
Here are 10 suggestions:
- Recognize that successful relationships take work. Trusting relationships don’t happen overnight. They take time to develop; there needs to be a desire to develop a successful relationship and a commitment to dedicating time and effort to make it happen.
- Understand and celebrate differences. Strong service teams are made up of individuals with unique skills, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and personalities. Recognize and acknowledge the unique contribution each person brings to your business
- Acknowledge each person in some way every day. Start off each morning with a smile and a brief check-in. Find something positive to share every day, either to individuals on the team or to the entire team.
- Don’t speak while angry. Reacting to annoyances, missed opportunities or poor performance with anger shuts down communication. It also means you are focusing on your frustration instead of the problem or the solution. The next time you are frustrated or angry, take a moment to calm down before addressing the situation.
- Get regular tune-ups. Molehills, small frustrations and annoyances, turn into mountains if they are not addressed early on. Set aside time to meet with your team members on a regular basis. Find out what is going well and where they need additional support.
- Be responsible for your own behaviour. If there is conflict, don’t assume it’s entirely the other person’s fault. Instead of focusing on their behaviour, make sure you are not contributing to any negativity. Find out what changes you can make in your behaviour and then make them.
- Give what you want to get. Treat your service team the way you want them to treat their customers. Be the example.
- Set goals together. You expect your service team to work in such a way that goals are met. Invite them into the process of setting the goals, the strategies and tactics on how to achieve those goals. That makes your goals, their goals.
- Stop talking and listen. Don’t provide all the answers. Ask questions and then wait for your team to come up with ideas. Ask for feedback, comments and suggestions and then stop talking. Give your team the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas freely.
- Be willing to compromise. There are some things that can’t be compromised. Honesty, safety, integrity and service standards are just some examples. But there are times when compromise is very possible. Don’t get hung up on “my way” instead of the end objective. Rigid schedules that don’t recognize a full life outside of work can kill a relationship. Rigid adherence to outdated, unnecessary policies damage morale. Look for common ground wherever possible.
People in strong,healthy personal relationships feel better about themselves and life in general. People in strong, healthy service teams also feel better about themselves, their customers and the company they work for. Building strong, healthy relationships is hard work, but worth the effort.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
What are some things you do to build a strong foundation of communication, trust and mutual understanding at your company?