You might be a huge fan of snickers bars, or maybe you really like sushi, but if you were to go fishing would you put that on the hook? Of course not, you would use a worm or a fly. When you go fishing you think about what the fish would want, not what you want. It seems so simple, and yet every day when we handle our employees we don’t think or talk about what they want, we think and talk about what we want.
Dale Carnegie held a lot of lectures at a very nice hotel in their ballroom. One evening he received a letter from the manager of the hotel stating that his rent for those lectures would go up 300% that year. Of course he couldn’t afford this. The first thing he wanted to storm down to that hotel and pick a fight with the manager. How could he have the audacity to do that to him with no warning? That’s not what he did though. He calmly visited the hotel manager, and listened to his concerns and worries about the price increase. After the manager was done talking he told him that he was just being a good manager, and that he was doing what was best for the hotel. He then took a piece of paper, drew and line down the center, and wrote ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ on the top. He told the manager he would like to go over the pros and cons of the price increase. First thing he wrote was ‘Ballroom Free’ on the pros column, and told the manager that because he could not afford the increased price that the ballroom would be open for them to book other events. Then under the cons side he wrote ‘decreased income’. He let the manager know because of the price increase he would actually be decreasing his revenue as he would lose Carnegie as a customer as he could not afford that price. He then told the manager that another pro was that of advertising for his hotel. If Carnegie had to hold his lectures elsewhere there would be a lot of cultured individuals that would not be coming to his hotel. He then left, note that Carnegie did not let the manager know what he wanted, which was to have the price lowered. The next week he received a letter that the price would only be increased by 50%.
So how does this apply to the SCC and managing our employees? Well first, all of our employees want to be successful in their positions, just like the Hotel Manager in the story. However, like the Hotel Manager, they don’t always see the whole picture. If we start every conversation with our employees with the mindset that they want to succeed, we have set both of us up to succeed. Then start the conversations out with questions, does the employee know what is expected? Does the employee understand the standards and how they are measured? How do they feel about these standards? What do they need to be successful within the bounds of the standards set?
Next think back to how Carnegie got what he needed without even having to say what he needed. Let’s use the example of bringing someone’s AHT down. Odds are we know what they need to do to bring it down. Instead of just telling them what they need to do why don’t we listen to them, and talk them through the issue, and let them come up with the idea on how to fix it. They’ll probably come up with the same idea we had, and they’ll be excited to put it into action because it’s their idea!!
Let’s try and listen to their concerns and wants, not our concerns and wants, and try to arouse an actual want to improve in our employees!