Do you walk into a coffee bar or café and just people watch, or is that just a European thing?
I own a property in Spain, and here in particular I like nothing more than to order a coffee on a sunny terrace and just watch the world go by. Taking in the views of whatever town I may be in at the time, watching people go about their daily lives, noting their differing characteristics.
In fact sometimes, when maybe eye contact is made or there’s a neighbouring table, I take it to the next level and actually talk to people. Not in a weird way, I don’t just walk up to random people and start talking ?, but as my daughter says ‘Dad, you talk to anyone’ (often recounting some of the more interesting, or should that be odd (?), characters).
It’s true. I just find people fascinating and if you keep an open mind you can always learn something from everyone, irrespective of age, culture or life perspective. It’s a form of education I guess and, as a manager of people for over thirty years, it’s important we do seek to understand others around us.
That’s why my ears pricked up when I heard our latest guest, Clint Pulver, outline how his observation of others sent him on a journey of discovery that has not only been the catalyst for his own career, but also led to businesses far and wide learning how to better interact with their people, ultimately leading to stronger company performance. As business owners that has to resonate – right?
Here’s the other thing. Clint’s a guy with not nearly as many miles on the clock educating me on people management by looking at it from a different perspective. But that was the point. Social commentators would describe me as a ‘Generation X’ guy and the reason they do this is the characteristics, attitudes and approaches taken by other demographic groups is different.
I don’t view the world in the same way as a Baby Boomer, Millennial or Gen Z guy (or girl). Not my fault, it’s just due to my differing upbringing, cultural environment, technological and social influences when I grew up.
As a long time student of people and their behaviour, it didn’t come as a surprise that Clint advised we should take time to observe ‘our’ people and take a genuine interest in their lives, but some of his approaches and nuances did. I loved his posing as a potential interested employee of the firm and a future colleague of the person he was quizzing. Very thought provoking. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could all gain that genuine insight into how we were ‘really’ perceived by the people we employ?
I have no doubt you would all generally fair very well, but you might just get a hint of where you have unwittingly missed something.
At Orange & Gray Phil, Oli and the wider team do a fantastic job of provoking thought and action in respect of your prospects and customers BUT, like us at O&G, you are a ‘service’ sector whose success heavily relies on your team and how they perform.
How our people perform relies massively on their happiness and general sense of well-being. Like it or not this includes many aspects outside of your control, sitting beyond the clinic door.
When I started out in the world of work (ahem …. quite a long time ago) I recall several early managers advising others and myself to leave our personal life at the door when we walked into work each morning and pick it up again on the way out. In my personal world, having fallen into accountancy and then the finance industry, it also seemed to mean leave your personality there too!
The modern world is ‘hopefully’ different and, as business leaders, we recognise the health plus success of our company relies on the welfare and contentment of ‘our people’ that go on to serve more of ‘our people’.
There’s another critically important element to all of this, which is we want to attract those that embrace our ‘values’ and personality. As Julie Hubik of Cornerstone Audiology puts across so well, she wants ‘Givers’ not ‘Takers’.
Yes, let’s go there and admit that sometimes we find the wrong people are in our business. I don’t mean they are bad people (nor are we), they simply do not match our values and would better match another firms’. It’s OK, and these people moving on helps both them and us.
It’s my personal hope that Orange and Gray always seeks to help you grow as a business, and not just in terms of those obviously important numbers. Our Book Club, Business of Hearing Podcast and Phil’s ad-hoc trainings are just a few obvious examples of this.
I apologise now for not being as competent as some of our accomplished wordsmiths, but I thought it might be comforting for you to know we actually take these lessons from our guests and apply them ourselves.
O&G is constantly building too, and we suffer the growing pains just like you do. From our launch at the start of 2018 we are constantly challenged to develop and grow our already hugely talented team. Not only making sure we have the right ‘bum’ on the right seat, but also having regular check-ins with staff.
Clint is right about having what he describes as regular ‘Status’ reviews, as not only is our business changing but so are the lives of our people.
The guy or girl that got married two years ago may now be looking to start a family. Another valued employee with a young family might be looking to take them all away on a dream holiday. Or maybe one of your team just wants to start or finish work at a certain time to pursue a new-found love of a particular external activity or interest.
Understanding what is important to them, then showing you care and will support them as best that you can, will massively improve their world and in turn translate to greater loyalty, commitment and positively impact that bottom line. Investing in our people can arguably lead to the best ROI we as business owners can make.
Plus, when I hear some of our Team refer to the ‘Orange and Gray Family’ it gives me a personal buzz that is hard to beat.
So, if nothing else, take Clint’s steer and schedule those Status Reviews (remembering to complete them regularly) as I know you will find them insightful and of significant benefit.
Finally, I hope you are enjoying Book Club as much as I am and…if you ever feel like I might be able to help you don’t hesitate to reach out.
Until the next time, bye for now…
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