February 15, 2010

Perception Makes The Difference

The iris reader in passport control was out of order at Heathrow this weekend.

When I remarked on it to an official there (with care, as I had been delayed long enough), he smiled and said, ‘Well, it’s usually working 99% of the time’.

Since I’d only recently joined this scheme, designed to more quickly get you through the queues at passport control, I was disappointed.

I then reflected that 1% out of order for them was 100% out of order for me.

It’s about perception. What seemed a small outage for the people at Heathrow was my total experience, so, noticeable and a big thing for me!

In the work we do as managers, there are many issues we engage in with our people.

By its very nature, our perspective is very different from theirs – and here’s where we have to be careful and learn to be good managers.

Our insights into what is very important to them must be given extra focus, because otherwise we will miss things that make the biggest differences to them, small though they might appear to us in our role.

And this is as inherent a part of our job if we want to make a decent fist of management.

Because, frankly, most managers don’t understand that being interested in what’s important to their people, is most likely to be of high value to the team and organizational performance.

Can you see where the 1% view needs to be from the 100% angle?

Filed under Blog, Customer Service, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Doing the Opposite

Whilst many of the opportunities each of us face every day seem to have straightforward solutions, sometimes it’s worth considering taking a different angle.

As we go about our daily lives, we follow set patterns of behaviors that are along paths we have walked many times. It becomes difficult for us to amend our thinking and so we carry on as we have before.

So, I’d like to suggest an alternative course of action for a while. Just humor me for a while as you read on!

How would it be if instead of making a decision that you would normally do, you instead consider carefully doing exactly the opposite.

For example, if you have a set procedure to follow, I’d like you to consider what would happen if you did the complete opposite.

What would happen? What might you learn from thinking this way? Indeed, what positives might you gain, maybe unexpectedly, if you seriously considered doing the oppositie to where your natural and common thinking would usually take you.

Clearly there are some life and death situations where this would not be a valuable course of action to consider – and these will be less frequent than you might expect. It depends on how flexibly, risky even, you might want to try out.

Many times when you take this option and consider the other way, even the opposite way, there will be a learning to gain from seeing a completely different angle/perspective.

It just depends how you look at it and whether you can be creative enough to allow yourself this opportunity.

Filed under Blog, Managing Me by Martin

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