September 1, 2009

Your Own Worst Enemy

At a recent dinner party we swapped customer service horror stories. One stood out as a great warning to us all.

After selling their home, this couple had contacted various real estate agents to inquire into purchasing a new property. Cashed up and eager to buy, they kept encountering agents who seemed intent on turning away their business.

One agent kept insisting they call back to set up an appointment. Another said the property could on be viewed by appointment, but wouldn't specify when. Yet another property with a listed viewing time was locked and the agent refused to come by and open it up. Even with willing customers ready to look.

Am I missing something here? Is the property market so hot that agents can afford to push away eager buyers with ready cash? More likely they were unaware of how they were shooting themselves in the foot.

How do you sabotage your own business success?

A recent SEEK survey of 10,000 Australians revealed that, even with the economic downturn, 55% of employees were keeping their eyes open for other opportunities. Only 12% loved their bosses while 25% said the thing they hated most about their jobs were the stress levels and overall management.

What are you doing that doesn't work and that you don't know you don't know doesn't work? How do you even discover what you don't know you don't know?

Our minds are like a black bag. You can't see what's inside and can't access an issue until you're ready to reach in and pull it out. It's a simple act of self-preservation that keeps us sane, but limits our growth and development.

Then how do you access those black bag blind spots?

Start by looking at what's not working. Ask around, look at results and turn over a few rocks.

Even better, get someone in from outside your culture to poke around a bit and find the real answers you'll never discover on your own. There is a large gap between what employees will say to their managers and what becomes coffee talk.

In today's business climate there's no room for hiding your head in the sand and pretending it's all fine. You never want to be the dinner party horror story.

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