Last weekend I had a meltdown.
I was massively over committed in my social engagements at a time when I have significant deadlines with a book I am writing. Consequently, I made a choice to work before and after family functions, which meant that every hour counted.
I set off at 7.15 am on Sunday morning, driving to my office for some quality writing time. Turning out of my street, I realised every main road towards my office was closed due to the Melbourne Marathon. Detours galore!
I completely lost it. The frustration and impatience boiled up within me, and my emotions started to take over me. Before I knew it, I was driving like a crazed woman-trying to outsmart the detours and go backstreet bandit style. This was a complete waste of time; I ended up driving in circles and circling back around myself. I decided to quit, headed back home to work in an environment that was less than ideal.
Arriving back home, tears of frustration welled up in my eyes. I made a Greek coffee (very slowly), took a few breaths and thought about my emotional outburst. I was thankful that no one was in the car to witness my ‘tantrum’.
In the service industry, when staff must ‘perform’ for hours at a time, it is particularly challenging to manage disruptive emotions and bring self-awareness to every situation mindfully.
Research shows that people spend nearly 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing.
As a customer, I am sure we have all been on the receiving end of an employee who is absentminded and simply not focused or attentive to our needs.
Mindful leaders create a culture of conscious customer service. Developing a workforce who is focused on the right things at the right time.
Recently Dr Daniel Goleman shared this article on Linked In called The science based benefits of mindfulness which offers up benefits for developing a focused attentive mind.
Some simple techniques to practice mindfulness in your work environment and for leaders to encourage the practice with their teams are included in the fabulous book; Search Inside Yourself, Chade–Meng Tan, provides easy steps such as;
· Walking meditation
· Formal practice of mindful listening
· Informal practice of mindful listening
· And my favourite activity is the informal and formal practice of mindful conversation
When an employee is focused on the customer’s needs in that very moment, they are more likely to help them in a way that is most relevant.
This is the essence of customer service.
“Why serve when you can inspire”