In response to this question, many will say the organization’s Board of Directors holds the vision. After all, they plot the course for where the company is headed. Others adamantly believe it is held by the senior executive team. They determine the day to day operations. Some may think it’s their branch manager, because she has the branch goals. All of these answers are right. And any of these answers are wrong.
If any of these mentioned hold the vision, it is often framed and hanging in the lobby or the employee break room. The idea is if you read it, you will get it. How many times do you pass the same billboard every day on the highway and have no idea what it advertises? How often do you pull into your driveway and wonder, what colors were the last three traffic lights? We often see without reading. And we often pass by without taking hold of the message.
It’s the same way when you want to list all of the benefits you offer to a new customer. After awhile, he stops listening. Or when you are on-boarding a new employee. Can she really understand all the terminology on day one? We think exposure equals hold.
- Explain the affect when a process isn’t followed.
- Describe the how and when of a product that will put the customer in a better situation,
- Point out the benefits of taking the medication exactly as prescribed to your patient.
You aren’t just listing the what, how and when. You are telling a story. What happens when? How does it work? Where is the benefit? Tell the story! People remember and respond to the story. You make it personal. You make it relevant. They get the message. And you get the vision!
“People get the vision because you share it, not because they read the framed poster hanging in the lobby.” ~ Becky McCrary, CSP
We have our assigned tasks. We want to tell others what we know. We make suggestions as to what they should do. We want their signature on the dotted line. And we just want to move the line or get people off the phone.
Unfortunately, people don’t always follow our lead. They have opinions. They are suspicious of the deal. They are in a hurry. They don’t want to appear to make quick decisions.
But you can help them make those decisions. Asking the right questions can help them arrive at the right answers. Whether you are in travel, healthcare, education, financial services, flooring, or any number of industries, great questions help your customer get to the great answer of doing business with you!
Here’s how it usually works….
Bob: I need to make a deposit.
Sarah: Ok. Anything ease I can do for you? We have great checking accounts, VISA cards and loans. Not so great investment rates, but we are insured.
Bob: Do you have boat loans?
Sarah: We do. Would you like to talk to a loan officer?
Bob: Not right now. I’ve gotta go.
Sarah: Well, when you’re ready, call us. Thanks!
Here’s how it should work….
Bob: I need to make a deposit.
Sarah: I’m happy to do that for you, Bob. How have you been?
Bob: Pretty good. It’s been a good summer.
Sarah: What was the best part of the summer for you?
Bob: My brother-in-law let me borrow his boat for week. I loved it!
Sarah: Would you like to have your own boat?
Bob: I dream about having my own boat.
Sarah: What kind do you want?
What color do you want?
Where would you go?
Who would go with you?
Get Bob talking about the boat of his dreams. He’s imagining how it will look, how it will feel, how it will smell. He’s thinking about who will enjoy this boat with him. He can see himself at the wheel. During all this, you are asking WWWWWH questions and then letting Bob talk. What happens next?
Sarah: When would you like to have that boat, Bob? What if it were next weekend?
Bob: I would LOVE that!
Sarah: Let me see if a loan officer is available to talk to you.
You don’t have to be a salesman. You simply have to be present – physically, emotionally and mentally. Focus on the customer in front of you – or on the phone with you. When your product or service can meet that identified need, offer it. Just not a moment too soon.
(c)2013 Becky McCrary, CSP Often called the Carol Burnett of Convention, the Energizer in High-Heeled Shoes, a Red-Head Amy Poehler and Southern Sass, Becky is an internationally recognized expert in how we treat each other. From Sales & Service, Leadership, Diversity, Inspiration and more, her wit & wisdom has inspired association and corporate audiences to be physically, emotionally and mentally present.
Things have changed. With your promotion or new hire, you are no longer “doing” the task. Now your focus is on “leading” others to do the task. But you really enjoyed doing it! I know. Now you’ll turn loose of it and inspire your team to take responsibility for it. And with the proper training and encouragement, they will see this as a building block for their own professional development. Then you will be able to assume additional tasks.
Managers focus on things. Leaders focus on people. As a supervisor, your job is now to focus on both.
Set the Tone: The attitude of the team begins with you! As a supervisor, you don’t have the luxury of bad moods. If you don’t feel that you can deliver 100% to your team, step away: breathe deeply, take a walk, get a drink of water, shake it off, scream in the closet if you need to. That is exactly what you would expect from your team, as they deliver 100% to your members, customers, patients, guests, and clients.
Make the Tough Calls: Everyone can’t perform every task at the same level. The tough call may sometimes mean retraining, reassignment or termination. You will hire for diversity in strengths, experiences and interests. You will push them gently into unfamiliar territory and expand their job knowledge. And you will hold them accountable for their successes and their failures. It’s tough, but you can do this.
Communicate: You probably inherited your staff. Someone else chose them and trained them. You may have even been one of them. But now, they are not your buddies. They are not your confidants. They are your team! Give continuous, specific and timely feedback. Solicit continuous feedback. Ask how they are doing. Ask how you are doing. Don’t wait for a mid-year review to discover a misunderstanding. And don’t EVER take someone else’s word for what another teammate is thinking. Ask. Ask. Ask.
Be a Great Delegator: If you attempt to complete every assignment yourself, you will fail. Spreading yourself too thin will make you physically ill and will make your team resentful. Train them. Train them. Train them, again. As their comfort level increases and you become more aware of their abilities, release the reins. Allow them to take responsibility for the task and ownership of the results.
As you move from performing to coaching, you will have a learning curve, too. Seek out someone whose leadership style you respect. Ask her to meet with you for twenty minutes. Have three questions or scenarios concerning team dynamics ready to discuss. Stop talking at twenty minutes, close your notebook and thank her profusely. Ask if she’d be agreeable to meeting with you, again. You will have someone to coach you through the settling in period. She will be honored to have the opportunity to help lead the next generation in your organization.
And don’t forget that I’m here for you. Call me. Email me. Send up flares. Let me know how I can help.
Becky McCrary, CSP is called the Carol Burnett of Conventions. She is fun, funny and relevant. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and facilitator who energizes and inspires association and corporate audiences. Her consistent excellence and expertise make her a favorite from Maine to Florida to California and even to the Caribbean.
Using personal experiences, side-splitting humor, and unimaginable insight, she guides audiences to a profound belief in their own passions, power and purpose. Participants consistently rave that her riveting stories are an inspiration to them.
My grandsons love to play “Punch Buggy.” You know this, right? The first one to see a Volkswagon Beetle, punches the other, says Punch Buggy, and names the color of the car. The boys are really good at this.
- “Punch Buggy Red!”
- “Punch Buggy Green!”
- “Punch Buggy Gray!” “That is NOT gray. It’s silver.” And a chorus of “same thing!”
Whether a 15 minute ride to the mall or an hour and a half drive to Columbia, we are focused on being the first to see a Beetle.
We may meet 847 cars, but we only see the Beetles. We’re scanning parking lots, looking only for the Beetles. Fords, Chevys, BMWs, Hondas are only a blur. They don’t matter; they aren’t Beetles.
In our work-a-day world, we can sometimes become focused on one thing. Coaching a challenging employee. Improving the bottom line. Working fewer hours. Moving the line. Enhancing the use of technology. Getting rid of the piles. Saying “thank you.” Any one of them a good thing, but not the only thing.
We all need the ability to see the big picture. Customer service representatives, call center agents, managers, sales associates, nurses, mechanics, accountants, tellers, entrepreneurs, dental hygienists – from the front line to the bottom line – when we focus on the big picture, we see not only our part in it, but how we impact other areas. The big picture helps us make decisions, set goals, and resolve issues. The big picture enables us to see the vision and work the plan.
If you aren’t certain of the big picture, this is a great time to schedule a chat with your manager or your support group. Ask great questions.
- “How will we define success?”
- “What has to happen for us to get there?”
- “Who | What skill sets do we need on our team?”
- “Why is that our goal?”
- “Where do I fit in?”
Then hush. Listen. Watch the big picture come into focus. Claim it. Now it’s your job to share the vision, with coworkers, customers, your community. The entire vision. Not just the reds. Not just the blues. Not just the silvers. All of it.
Holler, if you need me. I’m here for you.