Way too much work is being done reactively, and we are paying the price. Over the last 10 years, I have learned that many people took customer service to a different level. To meet clients’ needs, many companies would build temporary processes to accommodate these people. Over time these same methods grew more complicated by the minute till that inevitable day comes when the system breaks. Yes, it will break. I have experienced this first-hand.
In the past, being reactive was often taught as the best way to serve clients’ needs. We were prepared to build processes that would accommodate every customer need. It helped us gain trust initially, but we are now learning that it is not in an environment of constant change.
Taking time to plan, even a little bit can save time, energy and actually create something much better. In times of chaos or rapid change, I am reminding my staff to take a step back and do the following:
STOP – Yes, take a deep breath.
ANALYZE THE SITUATION – See the big picture or look at the steps that got you to this step
DEFINE THE ISSUE – What is the real problem? Next, find the root cause
COMMUNICATE ALONG THE WAY – Don’t go for the solution right away and continue to make mistakes and corrections
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MISTAKE – Many people do not want to take on the responsibility for a mistake or an opportunity because it means more work
DEVELOP A PLAN THAT LOOKS AT THE TOPIC AT HAND AND MAPS OUT A SOLUTION – This is where the value of planning comes in
In the past, for one reason or another, I became a very reactive person. I was always fighting a political battle or being hit with one roadblock or another. I used to get caught up in the fight, and I tried unsuccessfully to get things pushed through and often I had to settle for progress on a much smaller and slower scale. Today, I am finding a new joy in empowering people to look closely at topics and issues and spend some time looking at the best solution. It really is amazing how a few more hours or a couple of days can really pay off when this time is used to think through issues and see the change from a better perspective.
In 2017, my goal is to approach opportunities and problems by taking a step back first and analyze the whole picture. The goal is not to react the quickest. The goal is to implement a process in the most efficient manner. This change in mindset has really helped me manage stress and think carefully about subsequent planned actions. In the end, the implementation is much smoother with fewer issues going forward.
Planning is the key!