A few months ago, I shared on my leadership blog how to create a great customer experience. Today, I want to use those same steps to show you how you can become more valuable – to add value – to your team and others in your company.
When a team member or colleague brings you an issue, problem, concern, question…take time to truly listen to what it is they are saying. Don’t jump to a conclusion or give them a fast answer. Listen carefully.
Ask great questions to get to the core issue. Avoid asking yes/no questions or “why” questions. Asking great questions will get you to their core issue the fastest. It also demonstrates that you are actively listening to them.
If the person in front of you is frustrated, angry, tense, etc., take the time to empathize with them. Don’t merely sympathize (“oh, I’m sorry”). Don’t make light of their situation (“today sucks to be you!”). Feel what they are feeling and identify with that.
Once you have the core issue clarified, think. What resources do you have that can help resolve your team member’s issue? What resources do you know about that can help? Who else can you call on for assistance? Think.
Once you’ve listened carefully, asked great questions, empathized with the person, and really thought about the best way to help, then (AND ONLY THEN) act. Far too often people jump into action too quickly. Act with intention and purpose.
Following up a couple of days later says that you care about how the resolution is working or not working for the person you helped. This can be a great learning opportunity for you. It will create stronger relationships at work as you demonstrate your willingness and ability to invest in someone else.
Make your work interactions better. Follow this process to add value to your team and your company.
Remember, when you get better, your company gets better.