Do you treat those you lead and those you follow with dignity?
Do you do the same for yourself?
One of the things I love about what I do is that even when I’m in speaker/facilitator/keynoter mode I’m learning. Always learning. The latest evidence came to me this past week.
Before I delivered my keynote address for the IFMA (Jacksonville) Professional Development Forum, I had the opportunity to listen to Dwaine Stevens from Publix address the audience. His overall theme reinforced the importance of providing great customer service in every phase of interaction. Since I have been a Publix customer for decades, I am familiar with their level of customer commitment.
What caught my attention was a comment from one audience member and, then, one line that was part of the corporation’s mission statement.
As audience members shared their Publix customer experiences with Stevens, one person raised her hand and simply said, “Thank you for paying attention to me.”
This audience member had been relating one of her positive experiences with a Publix employee. I don’t recall what interaction she had in the store; however, it left a lasting impact on that woman.
Thank you for paying attention to me.
What a simple, yet powerful statement.
Stevens said simply that employees know that if their action will not foster the brand and the mission of the company, then don’t do it. Stay true.
At first, I was quick to write off the talk of “brand” as simply monolithic corporate-speak. But as Lee Corso might’ve said to me, “Not so fast, my friend!”
Stevens also shared the Publix mission statement. Again, so many of these can be so many vanilla words strung together. But something caught my attention. One line in fact: “Dedicated to the dignity, value and employment security of associates.” [My emphasis supplied.]
Talk about paying attention!
Coincidentally, I had recent communication with a few higher education colleagues around the nation about career services for their faculty. One colleague shared how her four-year institution went out of its way to provide career counseling for current faculty. It was not seen as a threat—but as an important benefit to help their faculty stay relevant, current and valued. I started asking around the nation to see how common this practice might be. So far, I have found it isn’t. Another colleague said that not only did her institution not have such a service, there was a festering atmosphere of mistrust. (I hear this often.)
One university treats the employee with respect. The other with (what seems like from an outsider’s viewpoint) contempt. For which would you want to work?
Video recommendation for the week: As this TEDx talk indicates, dignity plays out around the world. It’s not some feel-good word. It means something when it’s present–and definitely means something when it’s absent.
Back to my keynote. My title challenged the audience with What Questions Should I Be Asking? Questions about the people they served, questions about their calling, and questions about their own well-being and resilience.
More poignantly, let me pose to you a few questions. What is your personal brand (that is, who are you—really?) and do your actions support what you say your personal brand is? Do you treat those you lead and those you follow with dignity? Do you do the same for yourself?
Your call-to-action for the coming week: (1) What (at least) one thing will you do this week that will add value to someone with whom you work and/or live. (2) What (at least) one thing will you do this week that will add value to your life?
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(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.