These are tough times to be a person working in the field of sales or service. There are way too many pressures one has to handle from customers, business and family. The already difficult mix of target achievement, cost control, and customer satisfaction has gotten even more complex with the addition of hygiene maintenance, health precautions, and safe distancing.
Taking it easy
It is, therefore, highly important to not let yourself get overwhelmed and understand how the independent components work towards the final outcome. In case of servicing a machine or giving a demonstration of a machine, there would arise a need for a physical presence, which would then require travel. How can one commit to that in these times? It is hence critical to look at the issue holistically and weigh the associated risks and rewards. It is important to bring in the understanding that there are people on both sides, and a mix of logic and feelings will only get you to take the best decisions in the given circumstances. The escalation of these decisions should be done only as a final resort if a resolution is not possible.
An already complex situation needs to be sorted out. Adding more processes and procedures often make solutions worse than the problem itself. The need is to seek multiple perspectives and see the big picture before you start testing solutions. Hence, nurture an environment of feedback, experimentation and open mindedness.
The need is to seek multiple perspectives and see the big picture before you start testing solutions. Hence, nurture an environment of feedback, experimentation and open mindedness.
Approach any interaction as a learning opportunity. Ask, “What do I have to learn here?” This mind-set shifts how you perceive others and the questions you ask. This will have the same effect on the other person’s mind-set and their perception of you, turning the interaction into an enriching experience.
Remember whatever you may know, no matter how right it feels, it always is just a part of the truth. Ask other people for facts and evidence. Get them to say how they feel about the issue, and ask them to describe its impact on them. You may have good information but you still have to learn from it by listening intently. The secret to effective listening is to shift from thinking about what people’s words mean to you and considering what their words mean to them. Learning to listen attentively – not while planning what you’ll say next – takes conscious effort and time.
In volatile and challenging times, to get to solutions that are not known, your direction and priorities must be clear. This will make way for action and resolution in an experimental way, teaching you and the others with you, as you seek your destination, things that must be learnt.
The views expressed by the author are personal and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
( T K Ramesh, Managing Director and CEO, Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt Ltd )