The other day I was sitting in a cafe, enjoying a cup of tea and finishing off some work. And watching the staff at work. Well, not quite.
The female server had decided it would be a good idea to fix up her appearance. So she had laid out her make up and hair equipment on the serving counter and proceeded to, with the assistance of the stainless steel coffee machine as her make-shift mirror, apply eyeliner, blush and a few other bits and pieces. Once all the brushes and paraphernalia were packed away she then started on her hair. While she was doing this she was chatting rather loudly to a fellow server behind the counter, oblivious to the world.
As I watched this play out in front of me, I looked around the cafe. Some of the tables were dirty. The chairs were not placed neatly and there was rubbish lying on the floors.
What’s wrong with this picture?
As I sat there wondering if there were any makeup products in my tea, I wondered how many other businesses are run like this? The obvious lack of self-awareness and self-management on behalf of the employees, and a lack of management, controls, procedures and systems. I wondered if this cafe would ever be as successful as it could be.
If you have your own business then don’t ever believe it can run successfully on auto-pilot. Why would you invest in a business and then not be involved?
Most people are in business to make money, and the customer/client is an important part of this financial success. Here are a few things to think about:
- If you are not able to be in the business everyday, then who is taking care of it? Who is looking after the customers/clients? Do you have a responsible manager in charge?
- Is this manager aware of the business standards and their position’s roles and responsibilities?
- How will you measure their performance?
- Are your team members aware of their roles, responsibilities and the business goals?
- Do you have a disciplinary code of conduct? What you can and cannot do in the business?
- When will you be checking in on the business? How would this be carried out?
- What external resources can you use to measure the businesse’s performance?
- Do you have an employee induction programme and training programme?
- Do you interview and hire your employees to fit your business culture?
To stay on track, meet and exceed your customers expectations and to be successful you need to include the correct oversight in your business.
“When Bob has a problem with everyone, the problem is generally not everyone. The problem is Bob!”
Sometimes people say things that resonate with you so intensely that the lesson stays with you for years to come. I once had a boss who often made the “Bob” statement. His way of confirming someone’s lack of good social awareness and the inability to play nice in a team environment. Whenever I heard him saying it, it always made me more conscious of my own actions and interactions. It made me reflect on and consider my own behaviour.
Being able to step back and objectively see yourself warts and all, as others may see you can be a little bit uncomfortable. But, then to acknowledge your “warts” and take responsibility for how your behaviour has directly affected someone, can be exceptionally difficult.
If you succeed in developing and strengthening your emotional intelligence the benefits are not just for your own personal growth, but it improves the longevity and quality of your relationships with your colleagues and customers. Strong, trusting professional relationships can only strengthen your business by building motivated productive team members, and increasing your employee retention.
If you think you may be a “Bob” and may be alienating your colleagues and team members with your behaviour, start by asking yourself the following. Both questions have been inspired by Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Do you listen to understand first, before trying to be understood? The next time you have a conversation with one of your colleagues, try not to steamroll through your point or opinion at the beginning of the conversation. Stop and let them speak first. Actively try and understand what they are saying to you. By being conscious of this, it will hopefully prevent you from paying them lip service and assuming what they are trying to say before they actually say it.
- Do you think win-win? This is not High School. It’s not about whoever wins the race gets the prize. If you really want to win in the business world you need to think smarter. The next time you go into a discussion, go in with the mindset of team collaboration. Think how the the discussion outcomes can be mutually beneficial to all parties. You may need to stretch your thinking and consider options which you have never considered before. Be curious. Remember, its not always about you.
If you think you may be a “Bob” and need assistance. Contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org for professional business coaching.