I have been working faithfully for about three months at Donnelly Communications and since my time here, I have learned one important concept. That is:
You are graded by the problems you resolve not the problems you cause.
Here at Donnelly, we serve as guest response agents for the corporate office of major businesses and restaurant establishments. Employees at the local store level of these companies would sometimes make mistakes and provide their guests with unsatisfactory experiences or would fall short in being consistent in the service that customers would expect. It is because of this that individuals would call the feedback hotline (often angry and frustrated) and take their emotions out on us. This is basic human instinct for people to do when they’re upset. In fact, even while I was serving as a flight attendant, I had passengers that would lash out at me because they were about to miss their flight connection due to a delay that I had nothing to do with. We were specifically taught in flight training that it is psychological for people to get angered at or seek information from the first person that they see in a uniform associated with the company (Branding at its best!).
The best thing to do in these situations is to not take it personal and be as empathetic as possible. People spent hundreds and even thousands of dollars or service that they expect to equate to their financial investment (especially dealing with car maintenance). If it doesn’t balance out, they feel taken advantage of. Although we are too remain natural and not take sides, I try to put myself in their shoes to understand how they may be feeling.
Guest: “There’s a cockroach in my bowl of chili!”
Agent: “I’m so sorry ma’am, for this incident, I’d be more than happy to assist you in eliminating this cockroach from your meal.”
There are efficient steps in handling problems that may arise in your life that I gathered based on observations and experience pertaining to my occupation.
First, Identify the Situation
Ask yourself or the person, what type of incident is this. Did you slip and fall in a restaurant and suffered injury (seeking medical attention) ? Is the store not wheelchair accessible? Did your credit card get charged twice? Did the mechanic put the wrong oil in your vehicle? Relate these scenarios to your life any way you see fit but categorize the incident in your mind accordingly so you can start working towards a solution.
Secondly, Gather All the Important Details
How long ago did this incident occur? What time? Was there anyone involved? Do you remember their names? This is like a detective trying to solve a case and he needs all the information he can use to complete his investigation. This is also how people evaluate who was right and who was wrong in an incident. For example, a while back I was charged with a “failure to yield” traffic violation coming off of 285 South in Atlanta, GA when a police officer pulled me over and told me that I cut a 18 wheeler off while merging onto the highway. I explained to him my intentions of merging onto the highway unaware of the truck behind me because I was trying to avoid nearby debris in front of me. Although I plead my case, giving all necessary details, I didn’t get off the hook. However, the details of a incident such as mine in any scenario could help one to evaluate the presented evidence before determining resolution, such as the cockroach in a bowl of chili.
Agent: Ma’am can you describe the incident in detail for me please?
Guest: “Yes, I thought it was a meatball so when I scooped up and I noticed that it was crawling up my spoon! and I said, this isn’t a meatball!!”
Apologize for the situation
“I’m sorry sir or ma’am that you missed your flight connection” This is tricky because people either weigh a person’s sincerity in their apology or are too frustrated to accept it. Practice your articulation and tone of voice when expressing regret for a guests’ unsatisfactory experience. Do not only that but express it through non verbal communication (such as matching body language/Facial expression). Non verbal communication speaks more volumes An apology changes nothing in some cases (as people would view it) and in other cases, people could be logical enough to know that you had nothing to do with the incident an not be angered by you personally (very rare rationale). However, it is the actions taken place preceding the apology that reflects leadership.
Present a Possible Solution/Resolution
As a resolution agent, whether you work in customer service, you’re a police officer, or simply a friend helping out a friend, you have to be made aware of all the policies and procedures of taking care of incidents such as the ones presented to you. It is impossible to know how to resolve every single scenario but it is the fundamentals on how to address the situation that should help you close out with resolution. As a leader, do NOT pass the buck. This means handing off someone else’s problems to another representative.
Agent: “ma’am let me forward your information to Orkid to see if they can send a bottle of Raid to kill the cockroach”
This shows that you do not care (in some cases) and that you won’t even attempt to take care of it. Although their problems might not always be your responsibility, they intrust in you to guide them, to retain them as valued customers. Speak with confidence and conviction, don’t appear to be nonchalant about it or seeming unsure. Take initiative by doing something that makes them feel so good that their incident feels like a blessing in disguise.
Agent: “ma’am I am going to mail you a gift card to reimburse you for your entire meal, plus refund your money for this unsatisfactory experience”
Standing up preparing to solve problems you didn’t personally cause builds character, increases your credibility, and makes you feel good about changing a persons perspective of their experience. Apply this concept to relationships, friendships, business partnerships and in any other scenarios where problems may arise.
Oh, and just remember to order hot wings next time!
Life is like a motor vehicle in a lot of ways. The ignition, the steering wheel, the brake pads, and the gas pedal are all components that control a vehicle. However, as nice as your White 2000 Ford Explorer may be, it will continue to go unmoved in a parking lot unless someone starts the engine. If I metaphorically relate this to how complacent some individuals are in catapulting their dreams, firing up their ambition and starting their long term aspirations then they’d be much like a “parked car.” Why? It is because your thoughts manifest the emotions that serve as the “driving force” of your actions and behavior. Let’s take a ride and I’ll show you exactly what I mean, fasten your seat belts.
The ignition is what starts the engine of a vehicle, plain and simple. This task requires two components, the person, and the key. Metaphorically speaking, a person requires a “motive” to start the motor. Where are you going? What’s destination are you trying to reach. If you don’t know where you are going then you are simply wasting gas, unless you’re just going through the motions and enjoying the ride of life. I sometimes feel that way myself, but remember, the more mileage one has on their vehicle, the more it depreciates in value. The vehicle also gets damaged overtime from natural wear and tear. Therefore, understand where you are heading and in what direction. It is also important to determine how long the journey will take from where you are now. Do you look for shortcuts on the way, detours? Perhaps you’ll take a break at a local rest stop when you’re halfway to your destination. Gather all the answers to these questions and they’ll serve as your “key” to starting on your plan of action. Start your Engine!
Your headlights are for night driving, when you can only see what’s a couple feet ahead of you. Even with night vision mode on, it is your only hope that a deer doesn’t cut across the street while you’re driving and you lose focus while swerving off the road. Metaphorically speaking, your headlights serve as your guide. On those gloomy days and foggy nights, you need to have faith in what’s to come so you can be ensured that you’re ready for it when you get there. For those obstacles in between such as pot holes, negligent drivers, speed bumps, road blocks, etc. you need the guide that’s going to see what you can’t yet. God, Allah, Buddha, any higher power or person that serves as your protector long the way. Your headlights should give you that extra sense of security on the road.
Your Steering Wheel
When you’re driving with one or two hands on the wheel, it is an absolute “no no” to allow someone else to take control while you’re sitting in the driver’s seat. This concept is fairly simple, this is your car, that you pay for gas on, plus insurance, maintenance, and the extras that you decide to include. If you take care of your car it will take care of you but don’t put it in the hands of someone that might not appreciate it’s value or worth. You control how whether you want the vehicle to go left or right. No matter where you are going or how long it takes for you to get there, your vehicle will only do what you tell it to. If you must give control of your vehicle to anyone, let it be your guide, your higher power, or the person you put in trust to protect you.
I personally have a vehicle that can comfortably seat five people including myself. With me maintaining control of my vehicle at all times, I need only individuals are heading in my same direction or individuals that know of a easier way of getting to where I am trying to go. The ride in itself should be an enjoyable experience but I can’t ride with individuals that have road rage. Other vehicles that may ride my blind spot, or cut me off is to be expected however, how you react to the situation may be different from how your passengers will. Be careful not to pick up any bad habits from your passengers or be wrongly influenced to go in the wrong direction. You are the average of the five people that you mostly hang around, how many people do you feel comfortable with including in your car.
Sometimes life moves way too fast for us to comprehend. We need breaks in between our journey to gather the interpretations of experiences that we recently undergone. We do this in attempt to learn from them so we don’t end up going in circles on the road. Other times, we find that we live life too much in the fast lane that we don’t give ourselves time to stop and enjoy the beauty surrounding us. Turn the A/C off, roll down the window and feel the breeze, smell the roses, admire the trees. You can’t get from Atlanta to Minneapolis in 24 hours or less by car so what’s the rush?? Slow down and don’t take life so fast.
“After 300 yards, you have reached your destination”
Your journey may be long with a few bumps in the road but if you stay the course and ride your lane to the finish line, it’ll all be worth it. Many people from many facets of life travel in the different directions to reach their destination. Some may take the same path to get there which is why you may have to start early to beat the morning traffic (especially on 285/75, if you live in Atlanta). Don’t forget to keep your GPS navigation device with you to serve as a guide when you’re with and without your vehicle. Take all necessary valuables with you on your journey and take then back out when you reached your destination. In other words, don’t lock your keys in the car.
Life is like a vehicle, only you control where you want it to go.
Where does one find courage?
People attribute courage to a rationale of actions that stem from their fear of not having the opportunity to take full advantage of their choices in the future.
Others feel that having courage means doing something that they feel might be considered embarrassing such as:
Running the streets naked
Dancing in front of a classroom full of students
Courage is often dismantled due to fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of disappointment, judgment, or an irreversible reputation that one may develop after having the courage to make a possible life changing decision.
However, I think Courage has the potential to come from somewhere else
Courage comes from somewhere locked deep inside an individual that is bursting with emotion…
Courage, in my opinion comes from being pissed off.
“when I was in high school, I became so frustrated with how people dressed, how people talked, seeing guys walking around with their pants sagging, intentionally possessing ignorance and owning up to a negative self image. I used to hate seeing women carry themselves with little to no self respect. I used to go home angered by wanting to fit in, but barely having friends because I knew that my choices could’ve been made so much better than what I saw in my peers. I was a victim of complacent lifestyles and individuals that spent their lives following behind trends instead of setting their own.
I knew in that moment, that I wanted to be different. Not to gain attention from others so they could be like me, not so I could be liked at all..but because I was pissed off at the way things were.
I think that’s how a lot of people get their courage.
Women that were sexually abused gain courage to tell someone. Or join women’s rights groups, or use their testimony to teach other young girls about how to carry themselves.
Victims of any kind gain courage based on their circumstances. Because they want to serve as the reflection of change.
Victims posses the drive to triumph the obstacles that stand in their way because they know, and believe that nothing gets easier by doing nothing. If that were the case, they are better off remaining in the situation they were once in.
However, we as victims, as aggressors of change or infuriated by the way we view the imperfections of the world. It is through this unacceptance that we gain courage to stand for what we think is right.
My purpose is to use my gift to inspire growing individuals. When reflecting on my life, I discovered a lot about myself based on previous experiences that molded me into the person you see today. However, instead of gloating about my own testament, I decide to teach others the importance of interpreting lessons from one’s experiences to elicit growth for them as well. This may feel like I will always read deeply into the simplest of choices, but I think that everyone has a story to share. This concept ties into why I aspire to be an empowerment leader (Motivational Speaker). I aim to use my blog to discuss various topics as it relates to relationships, having the courage to stand for what you believe in, transcending fear when facing obstacles and networking with others. The avenues that I use to share my experience and provide this means of communication is not limited to Twitter ( for those that like to read quickly on the go), YouTube videos for the visual learners, and my recently published self-help book that offers step by step insight on making an effective difference in the world. Jeff Bullas stated that one should connect with their passion first before establishing their brand. That way, their work, no matter how rigorous would seem like recreational activities, or in other words, just having fun (Bullas, 2014). I am to continue promoting these avenues equally to support my brand and effectively reach my target audience.
As far as one’s target audience is concerned, Laura Ramos defines effective practices in marketing to leadership by the acronym ‘IDEA’. It is important for corporations to identify their audience before selling a product. Millions of advertising dollars could go to waste if one doesn’t communicate a message like their audience would receive it (Ramos, 2014). The jargon of the specific audience and the common interests that your audience share among each other should be examined to reach them and keep them visiting your site or buying your products, or getting your service. This is how guest remain engaged in your business. The company has to also develop their position on why they are providing that product or service. In some cases, they would have to defend it against competitors and ensure that their overall goals are matching their platform. Lastly, it is important for highly successful businesses to evaluate their impact that they have on the consumers so they can examine their progress compared to their competitors.
I used to think that repetition was annoying to consumers or guests. I would share my articles twice a day, three times a week and would still think that it was going overboard with promotion. By assessing my modesty and fear of rejection, I have concluded that my blog actually suffered from this practice. Content goes unnoticed if one doesn’t give users, consumers, or readers a reason to care about it. Seth Godin states that the more repetition a business has, the more the audience would believe what the company is trying to say (Godlin, 2013). I have a lineup of social media sites that are all catered to my audience. Of course, it can be difficult to keep up with but I have my presence visible in places that my site visitors frequently visit.
1.) Bullas, Jeff. 2014. Blogging the Smart Way. http://www.jeffbullas.com/get-started-with-blogging-and-social-media-marketing/
2.) Godlin, Seth. 2013. Frequency, Repetition and the Power of Saying it more than Once. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/04/frequency-repetition-and-the-power-of-saying-it-more-than-once.html
3.) Ramos, Laura. 2014. The Role of PR Marketing and Thought Leadership. http://blogs.forrester.com/laura_ramos/13-05-06-the_role_of_pr_in_content_marketing_and_thought_leadership
We we’re all put on this earth to ignite the world with our gifts and abilities.
Watch closely for the roadblocks that may be standing in your way. Best regards,
This was on my mind and heart to record and share. Be up for the challenge after viewing. Blessings!
I think this says it best…
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” – Ellen Goodman
I could have been DEAD but IN THE NAME OF JESUS I am ALIVE and I am STILL walking on my own two FEET, and I will not be defeated! The devil is a LIAR. I may be down but I’m not OUT, GOD has the final say!
Identity From A Different Breed now available in Nubian Bookstore ! 2445 Southlake mall Morrow, GA 30260