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Archive for the ‘Interpersonal Relationship’ Category

Last week i was in Chicago’s O’Hare International and ventured into the baggage office, where disgruntled passengers end up without anything to wear tomorrow – literally.  Likely the worst place to work in the entire airport.  You never have a happy customer enter your office.

I watched two different representatives say almost identical words and phrases to the dozens of passengers, but with very different results.  The most effective went something like this:

CustomerA :  “how could you lose my bag!”   I have a meeting in the morning and NEED it!” 

RepA:  “I am very sorry.  (sincere empathy)  The bag did not make the flight (reality).  There is a flight at X:XX time tonight, i will have it to your hotel by 7am.   Here is an overnight kit, discount on future flights, etc…”

The customer did not or could not complain any more.  THe rep did all he could to solve the issue, had explained the reality of the situation and apologized.  The customer left satisfied with the outcome, not happy but satisfied.

A few minutes later i watched nearly the same customer interaction with another individual:

CustomerB:  “how could you lose my bag!”   I have a meeting in the morning and NEED it!” 

RepB:  “Sorry.   There is a flight at X:XX time tonight, i will have it to your hotel by 7am.   Here is an overnight kit, discount on future flights, etc…”

This customer’s response “THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE”   and proceeded to scream and yell about all things wrong with the world.

Two things i noted. 

1.  The words between Rep A and Rep B were almost identical.  But Rep A was much more effective and seemed to genuinely care.   Rep B used the script, but did not connect with the customer as an individual. 

2. Each customer a choice in how they would deal with the interaction and the reality of the situation at hand.  While i think the airline rep played a HUGE role in the outcome of the nearly identical situations, Customer B obviously accepted the invitation to have their day ruined by the event.

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Growing up we hear (hopefully) that we can accomplish anything, or be anything when we “grow up”.  You can be a Nurse, a Firefighter, Airline Pilot, Doctor, Lawyer, Entrepreneur or Inventor, Artist or musician.

Some of these roles require more education or certification than others, but all are achievable if one works hard enough and puts their mind to it…

Imagine two siblings, each growing up in the same household, with the same teachings, access to education, experiences etc.   Both graduate college in the middle of their class.  Both average or above average intellect and seemingly at an equal place in life.  But for one, life appears easy.  She can accomplish her dreams, achieve goals and have fun in the process.  For the other life seems difficult, she struggles to achieve, is overwhelmed by the massive challenges that life presents.  At some point she stops dreaming of achieving more, because it is just too difficult.

In another chapter of my career I was a district manager of retail stores; working with Store Managers, I would  discuss maximizing the ‘potential’ of each of their employees as being limited by two things:  One being the individual ‘Talent’ of the individual, which at the time I defined as their smarts, skill-set, know-how or technical skills.  And the Second being their ‘Mindset’.   As a manager I would argue that you could teach technical skills to anyone, but what made the largest impact on their ‘potential’ or productivity was their ‘mindset’. 

We used an equation to facilitate those discussions:

                (TALENT) x (MINDSET) = (POTENTIAL)

Think of each on a 1 – 10 Scale.  If someone had a slightly above-average talent of say 6, but a mindset of 1 (sibling # 2)  the best they could achieve is

                6 x 1 = 6

Wherein sibling number one from the above example has the same talent level of 6, but a mindset of 6, that person can achieve:

                6 x 6 = 36

Obviously exponentially greater achievement, which drives engagement, happiness and satisfaction in (and of) life.  Life might seem ‘easy’ to the individual with the higher ‘mindset’ score, which in itself helps elevate your outlook on life or mindset.

When I started working with PeopleSmarts earlier this year I was introduced to the equation:

 IQ (Intellectual Quotient) x EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is a predictor of your success.

The research and trainings that PeopleSmarts provides are much more researched than the rough models I used in my retail life, but I think you will agree that the concepts are solid.  If one can improve their outlook on life, learn skills to handle stress, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, accountability they are able to achieve at a greater level, despite their technical ability. 

Is your ‘Mindset’ where it needs to be?

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