Meet Their Needs, Exceed Their Expectations!

Now that we have a solid definition of servant leadership to work from, and we’ve looked at some servant leadership practices that will help us meet the needs of our team members based on their own behavioral style, let’s close the loop with some final thoughts on how we can move this from being just something we do to something each of the leaders on our team will work to do…

As we worked through some of these thoughts recently, I shared a quote with you from The Servant by James Hunter saying that “a leader is someone who recognizes and meets the legitimate needs of their people, and removes all the barriers so they can serve the customer.” If we really want to build servant leadership into the entire culture of our organizations, we certainly need to start with looking at how we can recognize and meet those legitimate needs of the folks we interact with directly but we also need to work to ensure they understand how important it is for them to do...

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Don’t Just Get It Right, Get It Correct!

Before we close the loop on what we can do to exceed expectations for the folks with the final primary behavioral, I’m going to insert a quick plug for the complimentary session Cindy and I are hosting on Friday, Feb 12 at 2:30p on How Top Leaders Set the Tone for Recruitment & Retention. Whether you have a SHRM or HRCI credential that you can use the approved continuing education for or not, the only reason I can imagine this not being a relevant topic would be that you just don’t mind hemorrhaging money due to turnover. And if that’s the case, no worries at all. But if that topic will be of any value, here’s the link to register at no cost

Now, let’s look at some things we can be sure to do to really exceed expectations when we’re serving the 25% of the population who are Reserved and Task-Oriented; our more CAUTIOUS friends…

While the folks who have this CONTEMPLATIVE style will approach things with a slower pace, it’s...

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Just be Nice...

As I closed the last post, I referenced one primary difference between the folks with either of the last two styles we looked at and these final two styles we’ll be working through; the need to tone it down a bit as we work to exceed their expectations…

Before going too far with the style we’ll focus on today, let me stress that there’s not one right or wrong primary style. Well, I suppose that’s not completely accurate. There’s definitely a right style for me and a right style for you, and that’s the unique style blend we have. This should never be about making someone feel like they need to change into something they’re not; it’s about gaining an understanding of who we are and how we’re wired AND being able to recognize the behavioral styles of the people we interact with so we can serve them at an even deeper level.

Now let’s get to how just being nice can help us exceed expectations when we’re serving some...

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Extra Energy and Excitement

While exceeding expectations with the DRIVEN folks we looked at in the last post will often involve less sizzle and more steak, the next 30% - the INSPIRING ones - may actually enjoy the sizzle! Once we have that clear picture of what they expect, we can go above and beyond with this Fast-Paced and People-Oriented group by being as energetic and entertaining through the process and with the end result we provide.

By making the process fun for them and doing what we can to include their team, we’ll show them that a level of value that can easily be overlooked if we happen to be part of the 70% who don’t share their INTERACTIVE approach. Another thing we can do to really serve them is to provide them with opportunities to be INVOLVED in as much of the process as we possibly can. Showing them that they’re INFLUENCING the outcome will show our desire to IMPRESS them.

These customers, clients, or friends will typically be quick to share lots of ideas and feelings about...

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Driven to Exceed Expectations

In a large majority of the initial conversations I have with folks around the DISC Model of Human Behavior, I’m told “I’ve taken an assessment. I’m a D (or an I, or an S, or a C)” and that’s about as far as they take it. Interestingly enough, statements like that are almost always made under the assumption that they actually know how to use what their assessment told them. I won’t even go into the tirade about whether or not the assessment they took was anything even resembling accurate…

Don’t get me wrong, I believe a scientifically validated DISC assessment can provide us with some great information - but the key lies in understanding how we can effectively use that information on a day to day basis! There’s where the real value is with any type of assessment… And it absolutely should not stop at simply understanding we’re this or we’re that, we need to have a framework for recognizing how we can best...

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Aligning Intentions with Perceptions

Even after doing all the things we’ve looked at through the last several posts to ensure we’re on the right track to being able to exceed expectations with each person we interact with, there can be a huge gap between what we intend and what they perceive! Nearly all of us have grown up hearing just how important it is to follow The Golden Rule by doing unto others as we’d have them do unto us. But there are times with even the purest of purpose, things can go awry…

Have you ever met someone who seems to view the world through a pair of rose colored glasses? You know, one of those folks who can find the best in any situation… Hope about someone who can brighten just about any room simply by walking out of it? I’m not sure what color their glasses are, but they probably don’t have that same rosy tint!

Cindy and I were in a training session a few years ago where the instructor divided us into small groups and challenged each group to review...

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Not On or To Them, but FOR Them!

I got my first taste of behavior-based safety in late spring or early summer of 1998. Cindy and I had only been dating a few months at that point so I was still teetering on the edge to say the least… By the time I went through the two day training process required to conduct behavioral observations in January ‘99, we were nearly a year into a pretty solid relationship so some of my extremely rough edges were beginning to get at least a little bit smoother. Looking back, I can see so many places where God’s hand was moving in my life at that time but I’ll save those stories for another time.

For now, I’d like to share a subtle but crucial lesson that I probably should have pulled away from those two days of training. Truth be told, it took a few years for me to really get it!

You may have heard me reference this before but I’ll hash it out here again. One of the core tenets of behavior-based safety is that employees are trained to watch their...

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What Do You Expect from ME?

Once we’ve worked to ensure we’re very clear about exactly what it is that we provide for our customers, our clients, the team members we lead, or even our family, we’d each do well to invest some additional time into making sure we understand just what it is they’re really hoping to receive through their interaction with us. 

Gosh Wes, why would I need to do that if I’ve already put so much into clarifying what I can offer in each of those situations? Shouldn’t that be enough?

I remember hearing a story about a couple who were going through marriage counseling. The wife was upset because her husband wasn’t communicating with her. The husband was upset because he just couldn’t figure out how to please his wife. As the counselor asked the wife a series of probing questions to really dig into what her husband wasn’t communicating with her about, she finally said “he hasn’t even told me that he loves me since the...

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What Do YOU Expect?

So before we really dig into the specifics of those questions I outlined in the last post that we all need answered in order to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS on a regular basis, let’s take a look at one critical thing we each need to consider in this process.

Having hit on this idea of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS from quite a few angles over the last several weeks, there’s been one common theme: nearly everything I’ve shared on the topic has been from a perspective of how this impacts so many levels of the teams we lead and the community we serve. While building this approach into our entire organizational culture, ensuring the company is known for exceeding expectations, can make a tremendous impact at so many levels, there’s one thing we need to really take ownership of to have any real hope of it ever becoming part of our team’s culture.

We need to take personal responsibility for exceeding the expectations of each individual we serve on a daily basis; not...

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Clarifying Expectations

Over the last several weeks in this series, as well as through a few separate lessons in our Leading At The Next Level program, I’ve heavily stressed the importance of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS and how doing that consistently puts us in a very small percentage of society. In the LinkedIn article I published recently, I shared something that Cindy and I discussed with a great group of leaders during our quarterly Executive Leadership Elite Think Tank session as we worked through ways business owners and executives could earn genuine buy-in to their organization’s mission and vision. I won’t hash all of that out here, but you’re welcome to check it out for yourself if you like…

Here’s the thing, taking the necessary steps to truly exceed expectations, whether that’s with the customers & clients we serve, the team we’re a part of or the organization that pays us, or the team and family members we’ve committed to lead...

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