I’ve mentioned before that it takes inspiration for me to write and I had inspiration hit twice this week so I realized I’d better get to writing!
One of the services I offer is executive coaching for managers who are interested in growing and developing a skill, setting and achieving a goal, or simply wanting an accountability partner to help them take action to get results. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. A manager I’m working with (“Pat” who does not work for DAS) shared a breakthrough she had with her boss this week. She felt they had a strained relationship, not really on the same page with each other. She sent out an email introducing a new employee and mentioned in the email this employee was known for his “favorite dish” and all were welcome to stop by and enjoy some. Her boss replied that he too was known for his “favorite dish” and it opened up a fun opportunity for a little competition. He later in a meeting acknowledged her in a way that made her feel appreciated, valued and credible as a manager. She sent a thank you note to him and included a quote from one of her favorite movies. He replied saying that too had been one of his favorite movies. In just a few interactions, they found two points of connection and the speed at which they got things done and the quality of the results improved immensely. Commonalities exist amongst even those we have the most difficult working relationship with. The important point is to take time and opportunity to look for them and find them.
Just today, a co-worker was telling me about an experience she had at Best Buy. She went in to buy a new phone. She saw the representative approaching her and immediately had a negative reaction because of this employee’s tone and body language. But she gave it a try. They exchanged a few questions and my co-worker noticed they were wearing the same color nail polish. She pointed it out and immediately sensed a positive change in the employee’s energy and helpfulness. She found the phone she wanted and as they were filling out the paperwork they discovered they lived about a block from each other. They found a few more things in common and the employee ended up taking a selfie of them. When they were walking out the employee said, “Thanks, bestie!” What could’ve been a disastrous customer service experience and a failed sale, turned into an excellent customer experience. Because of the commonalities they found, it speeded up the results and lowered the costs that come with poor customer service.
Better relationships that lead to employee likability and trust create better business results. Are you taking time to provide opportunities for your employees to discover these commonalities and points of connection? Are you actively looking for connection with other managers for better business results? Are you providing coaching moments with staff to help them to find those points of connection with other peers?
I’m happy to help with these team building moments. Feel welcome to reach out.