.....Supporting the delivery of high performance working practices.....
October 3, 2018
Have you ever thought about the term personal impact? I hadn’t until I was given it as a working title for my first facilitated workshop that I ran for senior leaders at the Ministry of Defence. We were looking at the effects of verbal and non-verbal communication skills during conversations and presentations.
That first of many workshops proved to have a real personal impact for me too, as it has led to a greater depth and understanding myself of what that can mean for all of our communications.
I saw this statistic, which I know is from the States rather than the UK, but since I always thought they had customer service sown up and in the bag (having lived there and witnessed it first hand) it got me thinking further.
80% of businesses believe they provide “superior” customer service. But only 8% of customers would describe the service they’ve received in such glowing terms. When customers aren’t happy, there’s often significant damage done. In fact, U.S. businesses collectively lose an estimated $83 billion a year due to shoddy customer service. (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228129#ixzz2dtg5wBrf)
What is the impact when we get through to a colleague or customer service on the phone and encounter a disengaged, tired, disinterested vocal tone? Let’s face it, no one can be bouncy all the time, can they? Who was to know the disconnected voice was wishing the hours away because they were hoping to get out early to avoid the major roadworks on the way home.
Yet who was to know that the impact of that on the customer was felt a little deeper. They saw it as the voice of the company. “We are really happy to take your money, but we will also make you hang on for 15 mins with annoying music and a script when you get through on the other end”. All you need is another human to be present.
If you have ever spoken to a friend on the phone and said “Are you sure you are ok?”, you’ll know for sure the impact personally of a vocal tone hiding the truth.
It’s the same for physical engagement too. We all can get a sense of when someone is present and connected to us. There is a shared sense of understanding. We don’t have to manage behaviour or mind our p’s and q’s because we know we are heard and understood.
If we feel that, with a good friend, imagine what that could do for a company brand if it became the company culture? I know it’s challenging to build community and culture but companies are doing it, so clearly it’s possible.
In the theatre we call this second circle energy - first termed by an acting coach called Patsy Rodenburg, who, while sitting in on auditions listening to colleagues mutter “she has it”, or “he doesn’t” or “they have it some of the time” got her thinking of how we are using our presence. In other words, when the lights are on and we know someone is home.
How we are spoken to trumps the words that are spoken every time. We know this deep down, yet we always want to choose process over personhood. In my world it’s not one or the other, it’s both. How many complaints could be averted by thinking about how the words are coming out?
We need to keep the idea of customer service really simple. It is knowing that our customers don’t care that much for us until they know how much we care for them? Can we create that kind of culture? Have more conversations that actually count for a genuine act of communication?
We are always personally impacting those around us like a pebble dropped in the water, and being impacted in return. I only want you to remember three letters today when you go into “work” mode: C. C. C. [calibrate, connect, communicate] which is translated as take a step out of your world into theirs. Endeavour to form a mutual respect and connection before communicating anything at all.
High end performance consultant for business leaders, speakers & those pursing a professional theatre or concert career.
Real & authentic RESULTS for those who are intentional about their development and want to be the person other people listen to. The background of those results comes from over two decades of stagecraft, performance, sales, speaking and private practice 1:1 work. Angela's uncle was the famous film and stage entertainer George Formby and knowing how to engage audiences is in her blood. Angela's clients have ranged from senior leaders in the Ministry of Defence, property developers, professional public speakers, professional musicians, singers and actors and hungry business owners who want to stand out from the crowd. Angela is in demand as a consultant, speaker and mentor for those that want to up level their performance on any stage and on video.