Have you ever considered yourself as a company? Probably this is a strange consideration, but is it really?
There are people who invest in us - like our parents, our loved ones, maybe even our boss. We have our very own stakeholders. We have competition, fighting for their "marketshare". Clearly – we ourselves are the product, but let's take a minute and reflect on who are our Customers.
By definition a Customer is someone who uses whatever a company does or produces. Almost if not every day we are told or tell others that the Customer is the center of our professional universe. We have to be polite, courteous, anticipate needs and expectations, defend their interest and so on. This is especially valid for the service industry. However oftentimes we miss out to recognize and think about one extremely important segment of our Customer base and those are our Colleagues.
We are all parts of a Value chain, set up by our employer in order to bring the product or service to the end Customer. In other words – in order for us to do a good job the person before or after us in that chain would have to do a good job as well. We are all playing the dualistic role to be both a Service Provider and a Customer in the different aspects of our daily professional activities. But do we treat our Internal and External customer the same?
One of the most common objections would be the fact that our colleagues are doing their job for which they are paid for and this should be enough. While this certainly is so at the same time, that definitely doesn't mean that we have to be saving all our smiles for the external customer. If you're reading this blog, then you're certainly among those, who have realized that motivational drivers are much, much more complex than the wording of our job descriptions. The relationships we build with our Colleagues, both positive and negative have a huge effect on our own performance and are the reason that for some of them we do the acceptable minimum and for others we truly walk the extra mile.
Now, let's put this in the context of people management.
The teams that we manage, the People that we manage are the ones who at the end of the day will create or destroy our success and even our careers. We were appointed on the positions that we occupy to bring business value to the company, but also we were entrusted with the company's most valuable (and let's not forget expensive) asset – it's People. They are the Customers of what we do and produce. It's up to us to form positive relationships, based on mutual respect and not administrative authority with most if not all of them as that will be the defining factor of us getting the bare minimum or the motivated maximum in return.
So the next time you're about to tell someone it is their job to do something, think if it isn't your job to make them want to do it as you want them to do it in the first place.
Best regards,

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