3 Revelations about Performance in the Private and Public Sectors

In the last 20 years, I’ve helped thousands of people in both public and private sectors, (including the police force) relate more meaningfully to their customers and colleagues. Consequently, I’ve found absolutely no differences within the learning required between the two sectors.

Why? Because we are all human beings with the same types of struggles, challenges, demands, stressors, strengths and weaknesses.


Revelation number one: It’s really a myth that, “it’s very different here”.

This often feels true but it is a myth. In each of the 30 plus industry segments I’ve consulted within, I’ve met leaders who believe their customers are unique or different in some way.

It’s easy to get confused with cultural differences; of how things get done in different countries, industries and organisations and forget the influence of the biggest common dominator of them all – the human being.

In your world (whether The police, Financial Services, Retail, MFCG, or Telecommunications etc) it’s easy to become blinkered, believing your customers have a unique set of demands, thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviours and reactions. However, they don’t because of the human brain and how it has evolved over thousands of years.

Revelation number two: The brain was built for survival, not happiness!

Our brains are complex systems and the older part of our brain is designed to be on the look-out for things like threat, protection and excitation. Within a split second, these surge within all of us whenever we are triggered; whether we are a human being talking to a police officer, an IFA, a check-out assistant or bank manager. Whatever industry we are in, we have a brain that is like a Christmas tree! It lights up in different patterns. When we are in an angry state, our brain lights up in a different pattern than when we are in anxious state, or a relaxed state. Some patterns get activated more than others and it can be easy for each of us to become identified with one or two patterns; forming habitual reactions. This is what happens to us and to customers everywhere.

The interesting thing about our brains being identical in design is that we all have the same capability to be able to soothe the brain and restore a healthy balance when it gets triggered into states such as anger, frustration, anxiety and vulnerability. So, this leads us to revelation number three.

Revelation number three: The way to calm all customer and colleague reactions is through empathy and compassion.

There’s a huge body of research from the last five years that’s been developing and proving that the way to calm all customer and colleague reactions is through empathy and compassion.

Considering these three revelations, the future of customer relationships in the private and public sectors is surely going to change. During the next decade you will see several things happen in both sectors, at different rates and ratios:

  • Despite the growing evidence that shows how they hinder performance, sectors will continue to over-use targets, tick box management and carrot and stick incentives
  • These will continue to disengage staff and this will be damaging to organisational costs and effectiveness
  • A few pioneering organisations will understand how the brain is designed and how it often resorts to survival/protection mode, which block connection and collaboration
  • Those pioneering organisations will develop everyone to become comfortable and adept in the skills of empathy, compassion and emotional resilience, allowing their organisation to flourish through connectivity.

For further insight into performance and learning, have a look at our services.

Glenn Bracey

Glenn Bracey

Glenn is the co-founder and inspirational learning and performance director of Future Vision. He is a trainer, coach, conference speaker and passionate advocate of developing learning that makes a tangible difference to your business, its people and customers.

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