Keeping up with the needs of employees and customers today is like keeping up with a changing weather system – it can turn at any moment.

You can’t control other people’s reactions, and it’s unrealistic to think that you are in complete control of a situation that involves another human being.

You may see yourself interacting with colleagues or super sensitive customers trying to hold on tightly, gripping to the expectations of the outcome of that interaction. This energy of trying to control the outcome gets in the way, interferes with your accurate perception of the situation and creates a barrier to your senses and nonverbal cues.

The real act of service requires you to give up control of the outcome, and by doing so, you’re honouring the other person and accepting what they bring to the situation.

One of the ways I have learned to give up control with people, is to replace the effort of trying to control with a habit of always following up.

I create an expectation with people that I will always “Follow Up”. It reminds me and them, that we all have much to learn, that situations and scenarios change, and that keeping agile and alert is critical to future success.

Creating a culture of follow up is creating a culture of care.

Follow up means you get to the person before a problem gets too far out of control and you find out last minute that the work is going to be late, average quality or over budget.

The purpose of follow up is to maintain performance, It doesn’t take much time or effort to follow up, and yet it can fundamentally drive long–term success in a service team culture.

The real question is: how do you follow up with staff, peers and people close to you without sounding like a nagger or micro manager?

Here’s the secret:

Effective follow-up is less “did you do it?” and more “how did you go?”

Following up is another way of showing people you care and want to know what they experienced.

Let go of control and create an expectation of follow up.

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