We’re living in times where our decisions and standards are often influenced by others. You only have to look on social media to see this played out. There are so many voices with a standard and moral that won’t always match your own, but it can still influence your decisions and beliefs. It can also make you question where you stand on an issue. Especially if they have the same beliefs, but a different opinion to you.
I think one of the biggest slip ups we can make in life is lowering our standards because of someone else.
I recently had a classic case of doubting myself and considering changing the way I do things. And it wasn’t until I had a conversation with my leader at work I realised I didn’t need to change a thing.
As you know, I have a part time job helping people with their personal insurance. It’s a job giving me the flexibility to do the work I enjoy most, which is writing for myself and others while being at home with the kids. It offers the balance I need at this point of time.
In the last few weeks, I received my insurance renewals and I suddenly became the customer I speak with nearly every shift. My premium had gone up substantially (despite my staff discount!) and even though I knew why and had expected a change… I needed to speak to a consultant to make some changes to bring the premium down.
So I rang and joined the queue and spoke with a consultant who, to put it nicely, shared little personality and was taking my call because it was their job. They did nothing of what I had learned to do on my calls to ensure the customer felt valued and confident in the decisions they were making.
After making this call, instead of patting myself on the back for my different tactic of talking to customers on the phone, I critiqued my phone manner and thought, I need to change the way I converse with customers. I’m not doing it right.
So silly. But my mind literally thought I had been putting too much into my calls and I needed to ease back on the friendliness. #faceslap.
It wasn’t until I had a random interaction with my leader, she told me she had been listening to my calls. I was encouraged from her comments about how I could easily engage with a customer. My previous leader had said similar sentiments and had given me quite high scores for my calls. (Yes we get marked on them and on compliance) I had doubted I’d get the same feedback with a new leader because you never know if they’re going to think the same or different.
When my new leader encouraged me about my call quality, I realised I had been wrong to think I needed to change my standards because someone else did it differently.
In no way am I indignant about what I do or how I do it. I learn something new every day. And you’ve got to remain coachable in any job, even if you do some parts really well.
But there is a difference in getting the job done, and getting it done with a smile on your face which ALWAYS comes through on the phone or when you deliver a particular service. Being genuine is a standard that should never be lowered.
With my penny dropping lesson, I don’t need to doubt how I do things. I can still put my own flavour on it and own it.
So if you come across an experience that has questioned your standards or how you do things, don’t change anything until you’ve considered the negative repercussions of making that change.
You never know who is watching (or listening) as you do and what it could inspire them to do differently in their life.