“Creating Common Ground ~ Shift Five”

By: Misti Burmeister


“What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts of others to your own.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Seasoned Professionals:

 

COMMON GROUND

 

Young Professionals:

5. Adhere to necessary rules

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Acceptable risk for results

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I can do it faster and better and I have fresh ideas

Seasoned Professionals:While in Atlanta for a speaking engagement with UPS, I had a great/humorous conversation with Judy, a generation Xer who works with the technology component of UPS. Judy is currently in charge of updating/upgrading the technology used for every part of the UPS system, in hopes of making UPS even more efficient.One of the areas Judy was working to make more efficient was the system used to count the number of trips made by the UPS delivery person. The system being used was as old as the company and clearly needed to be updated. As Judy began putting new processes in place, the older staff began griping about the change. Most of the people on this team had been with the company for a long time and were used to doing this a certain way. They, like many of us, did not like the idea of change and were fighting it.

Curiously, I asked Judy what she did to deal with the seasoned professionals who were clearly reticent to change. She looked at me with a smile and said, “Well, I realized they may not know why this system needs updating or what it may do for the company’s continued success. So, I explained to them the current system was first implemented back when UPS used horse and carriage to ship boxes. After many of them laughed, they understood the need for a new system and simply wanted to know how they would be trained on the new system.”

Are you using a system that is no longer necessary or effective? If so, you might consider looking at the bigger picture and work with your team to create new systems that make the most sense for your organization today. Sometimes it makes sense to look at what systems are being used, why they were implemented in the first place and consider their current need. Further, younger employees may have a worthy view because they are not “attached” to the current system. They see a need and want to fill it. Ask for suggestions from new hires and younger employees, as they may have a unique view that will actually make things run smoother.

Young Professionals:During a presentation on generational diversity for a sales organization in the DC area, a Baby Boomer (Rick) shared his frustration with the generation Yers on his team. “They are more than willing to text or email a potential client, but for the life of me, I cannot get them to go meet face-to-face with the client.”The generation Yers on his team seemed to think it was much faster to simply email or text message potential clients. Apparently, going out to meet in- person with clients took too much time and didn’t make sense to them. In fact, many of the generation Yers simply did not want to go to the client site, regardless of whether it was for a potential or existing client.

While email and text messaging are great tools, they are not a substitute for in-person communication. Some people (particularly seasoned professionals) feel that text messaging is more of an interruption or annoyance in their day. And emails can easily get lost in the sea of daily online correspondence. Think about it for a moment, are you more likely to buy from someone you have never (or hardly) seen or someone who goes out of their way to stop in and see you, ensure you’re getting great service and answer any questions you have? Face time with a client separates you from the pack, builds trust, and will likely lead you to more referrals and sales.

Sometimes the way it has always been done is the best way. Ultimately, your organization needs to remain focused on the bottom line. Be patient with both yourself and your employer. Take the time to learn proven methods and the reasons for them. Once you have explored these systems, you may realize the benefits of existing protocols and subsequently, use your ingenuity to enhance them. If you approach your supervisor with the big picture in mind and show them how your ideas will benefit the organization, they will be much more likely to listen.

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