It’s not often considered appropriate to act like a toddler in the business world, although most of us will have seen a tantrum or two in our time. However, there is one aspect of juvenile behaviour that I am looking to see more of from my colleagues.
It may come as a surprise, but the familiar and often constant refrain of the toddler, “Why?”, is music to my ears in a business context. I want to hear colleagues asking why things are being done, or not done.
It’s easy as experienced and well-trained people to take things for granted and make assumptions about our clients – after all, surely we know best about the services we provide? However, it is so much more rewarding to question why and take the appropriate resulting actions.
A good example of this is when we were looking to work with a special educational needs school. Of course, they wanted a clean school, but we wanted to offer more than just that.
We asked what their core objective actually is. The answer is that they want to give a meaningful and valued life to their pupils. We decided that was something we could help with, and as well as providing cleaning services we also included work experience and certificates for the pupils in our tender offer. This proved to be more attractive than the lowest price alone.
By asking why, we were able to enhance our client’s work and build a stronger relationship with them. I can’t think of a single reason why that isn’t a good idea.
Jan Hein Hemke, Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland