Read the first part of the “Principles” series here.
If I don’t know how should I react in a given situation - I usually use this simple rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated. It works! And this year I want to make it more special, so I add treat them better on top of that. How do I want to achieve that?
Be nice, break the ice!
If someone new joins my group, I need to make sure that the person doesn’t get ignored and gets recognition from other members of the group. I’m going to make the first step. It’s easier for me to start, then it is for a new person. They might not know the group well and be worried about making a good introduction. Or there might be a thousand other reasons which makes them uncomfortable. I want people to enjoy their time and not to stress a lot - taking of that stress does do the job!
Example I like here is the very short and simple. If I see someone waiting for a recruitment appointment, sitting somewhere in the lobby, I tend to ask what position do they apply for, who’s going to be in the meeting, give them a hint (or two). When after few weeks I can talk to this person as my new team mate and they remember the face I’m really happy and satisfied that I’ve made a good job. There’s a relation already and everything goes smoother with that in place!
What if something goes wrong?
I see stuff failing all the times. People are not happy about that. My job is to make things smooth. I want to be more helpful for other people and I want to do that by a few key guidelines:
- Ask about the problem (don’t assume anything), and remember than asking once is not enough. The real problem lays deeper. You can help by asking questions and thus forcing the person to take a step back. You need to help them to get things in order.
- Don’t make things worse by being ignorant. If someone asks for help, give them the answer and try to narrow down the solution. Saying nothing is worse than saying “I don’t know” or pointing to other person who might now the subject.
- Stay in the loop. Don’t quit the discussion after first round. You’re done when the dust settles.
- Make sure there’s the incident owner. It there is no one - congratulations, your job is to use your experience and make the problem go away.
- Ask if your help is enough. We might thing that we’re helpful, but the reality might be different. Do one more step, and ask if “there is anything else you can do”.
Why do all of that?
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou