Episode 5: Self-Leadership and Leading Peers and Customers

Michelle:

Thank you for joining Episode 5 of our Season 2 of the Reboot Program. Applying self-leadership is the ability to lead our peers and our customers effectively. In this episode, Gabe Baradi talks about how we can start practicing this at work.

Gabe: 

As we develop our Growth Mindset at work, it becomes possible to find more solutions to the challenges we face. These are the times when we need to lead our teammates to a desired goal even if we are all on the same level. It may be that colleagues with different job responsibilities need our help or someone from a different department needs our support or assistance. We can even lead with the daily tasks that need to be done in our store, so the entire team accomplishes tasks faster. There will also be times when we get to lead our customer to find the best product or service for their needs, or to lead them through a great customer experience. Leading gives the people around us the confidence to trust us more, the feeling of safety and assurance that we’re around because we are after their best interest. 

There are 2 ways to start building our leadership skills so that our peers can follow our lead:

  1. Communicate positively. To achieve our goals effectively by completing our tasks, we should share the vision of what we want to accomplish as a team. When we talk to our peers in a positive and professional manner, we show that we can communicate professionally. We can ask for each team member’s inputs and encourage the usually quiet ones to share too. As self-leaders, this skill is asked of all of us, not only from our store manager or supervisor. When we give each colleague a chance to express their thoughts, they will be encouraged to share their opinions and ideas. We discussed active listening in our previous episodes, and this is a good skill to apply with our peers. Communicating positively builds trust within our team and gives everyone a shared atmosphere of respect. The goal is to make everyone feel heard and be able to listen to what everyone has to say. Expect to hear different opinions and ideas, this is part of what makes a team strong. If there are no opposing ideas shared, and only a few dominate the discussion each time, it means that there are team members who are not sharing how they really feel about the situation.

    This is a good indicator that we need to practice more Openness as a team. Our Episode 5 in Season 1 talks about how we can practice this at work. 
     
  2. Motivate and encourage each colleague. Starting with the vision is important, but once we are in the middle of executing our tasks, there will be roadblocks and challenges as well. It is easy to give up when we stumble in our individual tasks or as a team. Our Growth Mindset teaches us to not give up in the face of hardship or failure. We can help our colleagues along by encouraging them, especially when times are hard. Look for small victories to celebrate when our team members do an assigned task well. Offer to help a colleague who is struggling with a task. If we keep everyone moving forward, even if some of us may take a few steps back, our team will see our shared efforts as a journey to success, and not focus on the small setbacks along the way. 

To lead our customers, we need to practice one skill consistently, be Proactive. Like in previous episodes, we talked about how service is given and not received. We should not wait for our customers to tell us what they need when they come into our store. We should lead them throughout the customer experience journey by greeting them first and asking them how we can help. We lead by asking them relevant questions about their needs first, and not just about what product or service they are looking for. We can suggest alternatives to what our customers are looking for based on our assessment of what they need. Since we are the experts of the products and services, we should be able to match their needs with what we have in the store. If what they need is not in our store or is currently out of stock, always offer to ask the other stores within the company or find an alternative product that could still meet their needs. It is no longer just about making our store succeed, but the entire company succeed. Remember, our role as a service frontliner is not to man the store, but to solve every customer need and problem. Every customer leaving our store disappointed will be a gain for another company who will be able to solve that customer’s needs. If we want our customers to keep coming back, we need to give them a good reason to do so. Everyone in the team must be proactive to lead our customers’ experience from the moment they enter our store or restaurant. 

As self-leaders, if we are able to lead our team members and our customers to have a positive experience each day through these simple skills, our own success and the success of the whole team will definitely follow. See you in our next episode. 

Michelle: 

We would like to end this episode with a few questions to help you practice what Gabe shared with us: 

  • How do you feel when your co-workers share ideas that are different from your own? It is a good sign when team members feel safe to share their ideas even if they know not everyone will agree with them. Practicing Empathy will help you reach out to your team members. What you’re feeling right now could be what they’re feeling too. 
  • Do you hear more encouraging or discouraging words from your team members? It takes a lot of strength to be able to find the good in the middle of this crisis but this is the time we need to be bigger than our fears. For every discouraging word you hear, could you challenge yourself to say something that will motivate the team instead of focusing on a negative emotion? If there is one thing we can control, it’s our attitude towards our work, our employer, our team and our customers.
  • Are you leading your customers or are you letting them lead you? Do you think they will call you a problem solver? This is a good time to reflect on how you can Be more Proactive with your customers. 

True leadership does not come with a title, leaders become good leaders through skills, experience and making the tough decisions at work. 

Even if you are not a supervisor or a manager yet, we all have roles to play in a team and our ability to lead ourselves, our peers and our customers is what will help us grow and succeed at work. 

In the middle of all the uncertainty, we can Choose to be a Self-Leader. 

If you have questions about this episode, please visit the Reboot website and send me a message. Thank you for joining.