When a co-worker is unprofessional as a communicator, I agree with you that it affects their reputation, and your company’s standing as well. Spoken and written words carry energy. Language and tone have the power to build up or tear down relationships, and make or break service.
Your team serves both external customers – those paying to do business with you who are affected by your attitude and skill – and internal customers – those paid to work with you affected by your attitude and skill. A question for all readers: with which group are you more professional and intentional about words and tone? What might you do to better serve those you overlook?
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) wrote: “Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” A helpful challenge for all of us, don’t you think?
During Customer Communication training events, we offer exercises to help participants polish their interactions. You’re welcome to share this one with your team. I recommend you do so humbly, acknowledging that you’re far from perfect, just like them.
Instructions: List a few details about a recent encounter you had with a customer.
To whom were you speaking or writing, and about what? Briefly document the situation, then write one small way you might have improved your part of the communication, even by a small margin, obvious to you now since hindsight is closer to 20-20.
Audience members around the U.S. have shared some great answers this year, including:
If you choose to bring demonstrated rudeness up to a colleague, do so with a light heart and state your motive – “I’m offering feedback because I know you care about your reputation,” and “Please let me know what you see that I can improve” is a smart way to broach the topic.
We’ll never get it right every time, but we can strive to set an example as we journey though life. At GC, our goal for every interaction includes 3 P’s: positive, poised, professional communication. Join us! It’s a worthy goal.
Are you dealing with a career or communication challenge?
If you’ve got a question, write to Michelle@GladieuxConsulting.com for publication consideration. Questions remain confidential and anonymous.