I don’t know about you, but whenever I’ve started a new office/customer service job it seems like the training is half pablum, half semi/useful stuff, full of platitudes and not really of lasting use to anyone. Not so with this new job, the one I talked about getting a month or so ago.
I started training this week and have been really impressed with the company. Today I had a course in cooperative communication, and another in appreciating diversity. Usually those are prime candidates for the Useless List. This time, though, I was shocked! I actually learned some things, and was reminded of useful advice I’ve heard before but don’t put in practice often enough. I came away from the training inspired, not bored.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned, hopefully they’ll help you too.
“Be responsible for your actions.” More people need to do this. Being responsible isn’t being accountable to a higher authority, it’s recognizing what the right thing to do is, because it’s the right thing, then doing it. I need to do this more too.
“Stay Positive.” This is practically the watchword of the classroom I’m in, and the instructor reminded us on the first day that our jobs will be much more fun if we do this. The material, though difficult, will also be easier to learn. I agree with her 100% and want to do this more in my private life as well.
“Don’t focus your attention on your intention, but on the impact of your actions.” I love this at the same time as I am infuriated by this. It’s so easy to say “but I only meant to…” when a mistake has been made. However, no matter what I might think, the effect of my actions is exactly the same no matter what I meant. Focusing on the impact puts my attention where it needs to be to learn from what happened and do better next time.
“Be creative and flexible in your interactions.” This was great because it reminded me that different people have different styles of interaction, so if you are flexible, you can get the most out of every meeting, be it casual or professional.
“To err is human, but to take responsibility for your part is professional.” I love this. It allows that mistakes can happen, but demonstrates a behavior that is the first step in the path to making amends and fixing the situation.
“The power of the pause.” This is the best of all the tips, really, because it’s the one that lets you follow them. Taking that extra second after you might have said or done something wrong, or someone else did, can be all the difference between a reasonable response and an unfortunate one.