One of my core values is striving to take good care of people and resources that are entrusted to me. I can think of many examples falling within both of these categories, but today I’m reflecting on the customers I work with in a career or leadership development capacity.
Each week, I’m grateful for the 30-minute interactions I have with people from across the country. The conversation is the execution of a “thought partnership” with an individual who is trying to achieve some specific professional development goals. Some conversations yield more on-the-spot epiphanies or “a-has” than others. I ask the person open-ended questions that are relevant to the topic at hand, and together we explore and build upon their answers. This is 1×1 coaching at its purest, and I love coaching more than anything else I do as a professional (except for writing, perhaps!). Nothing gives me more joy across the work day than when a customer tells me, specifically, how I’ve helped them come up with a new strategy toward achieving something important to them.
That’s what “taking good care of” the customers entrusted to me looks like. It’s more than the actual 1×1 coaching, however. It’s also creating a system or process to keep my customers top of mind across the month, sending them articles or various tools that could help them, dropping them a note to check in on them (especially after they’ve delivered a big presentation or gone to a job interview), staying in touch with others they work with, and studying their business performance metrics on a regular basis so I know where they’re finding successes or challenges. I strive to be an expert on my customer, and that also necessitates trying to become an expert on their business.
What does “taking good care of” your customers look like to you? What things are you doing strategically, and what things fall more into the category of “unconscious competence”–i.e., behaviors you sometimes do well, but aren’t necessarily doing consistently with an intent to replicate and evolve them?