I recently completed a Facilitative Leadership course at the Schulich Executive Education Centre. The course was designed to help managers lead people better, but many of the concepts in the course jumped out at me as having application in the way we interact with and market to our customers.
One of those concepts was that every interaction contains three elements that each person is looking to understand from the other person involved:
- Do I matter?
- Am I competent?
- Can I influence the situation?
Now think about an organization or a brand you have had a bad experience with and ask yourself how those questions were answered. Do you feel you matter when you are left on hold for 20 minutes? What about the computer sales person who talks a mile over your head? Feeling competent?
These are pretty simple concepts, and it makes sense that we want to get them from each other to have a healthy relationship. The alternative is being controlled or patronized. Just listening to what someone is saying, acknowledging their point of view and working with them to find a solution – even if it’s not the one they really wanted – can make a real connection. I think I’ll be looking for how my company is answering these questions.
How about you?