Some automotive professionals may improve their careers and their work environment with a keener awareness of their own behavior.
Looking in the mirror and candidly appraising yourself is not the easiest thing to do, but simply recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses fosters the self-awareness needed to get along with others.
Or, at the very least, increased self-awareness may help you deal with difficult employees and testy customers more successfully that you have in the past. Identifying and working on those weaknesses may soften these otherwise brittle relationships.
Smoothing sharp edges from personal encounters — with customers up front or with technicians back in the bays — has a marvelous way of reducing stress and tension. Minimizing needless stress and tension creates a calmer, friendlier business atmosphere.
A warmer work environment enhances rather than hampers overall productivity. Best of all, this approach demands willpower instead of money.
Small change, big impact
According to savvy sources, improving seemingly small things earns them more respect and trust. (I believe that respect and trust go hand-in-hand with each other; these traits are synonymous with successful leadership.)
For example, owners and managers have told me how much people noticed seemingly small changes, such as maintaining eye contact during each and every conversation. Both employees and customers sensed more sincerity when the boss focused intently on them and their problems.
Exercising extra patience instead of cutting someone off in mid-sentence also telegraphs concern and openness. Rather than judging quickly, keep quiet until the other person has expressed their point(s).
Allowing an unhappy employee or customer to vent their frustrations tends to lower their blood pressure and reduce the risk of a longer, more heated encounter. More often than not, patience wins the day — especially with long-winded complainants.
What's more, these sources stressed that consumers associate traits such as concern and openness with personal service.
As I have stated in many previous columns, personal service is one of the hallmarks of successful retail businesses.