Last week’s post on complacency and arrogance struck a chord with quite a few readers. Some commented on the post and/or LinkedIn while more chose instead to email me directly.
One question was raised by several of you: How does one guard against complacency and arrogance?
A few thoughts:
- Survey your staff. Here's an excellent piece in the Harvard Business Review on employee surveys. Key takeaways include:
- Tell your staff you need and want feedback/input/recommendations.
- Confirm that by letting your staff know you value their input and appreciate their willingness to be honest; letting all know what you heard and what you plan to do about it; and showing some self-awareness by letting them know you recognize one or more of your habits/tendencies that may be a challenge for them and want their perspective on how you can better work with them.
- Change what you do and how you do it based on staff feedback.
- Survey your customers. Ask what you can do better. Identify one thing they’d like you to do differently. Ask how you can make their interactions with your company easier/faster/more useful.
- Be self-aware. Seek to better understand why you react/respond the way you do to criticism or disagreement. Are you defensive, aggressive, placid, dismissive, apologetic? Why? is it because you aren’t as self-confident as you’d like to be? Perhaps a bit over-confident and egotistic? The way you react speaks volumes about you and will determine if your outreach is a success or another nail in your coffin.
- Don’t talk; listen. No one cares about you, your company, your story, your successes, and the more you blather on, the less they care until you’ve convinced the audience you understand their need/wants/problems/fears and can help solve them. Ask questions and follow-up questions, and more questions. Listen hard. Repeat what they’ve told you: “If I heard you correctly, you said X is limiting your ability to do Y. Did I get this right? OK." What have you tried to do to address that? What’s worked, what hasn’t, and why?
For more on this, here’s a post from 11 years ago.
What does this mean for you? If that little inside voice is bugging you, you’d best listen — and listen hard.
Joseph Paduda is co-owner of CompPharma, a consulting firm focused on improving pharmacy programs in workers’ compensation. This column is republished with his permission from his Managed Care Matters blog.