When the Smiles Stop – Managing Our State and Performance
Gratefully, my work takes me into many different service arenas, including front line police, to boutique hotels to hectic contact centres and when in their own unique ways the stress and pressure is on, staff and leaders need well developed state management skills.
Not just for coping and resilience but to maintain consistently high performances.
Without the ability to manage our entire operating system, which includes
- Our thoughts
- Our sensations, feelings and emotions
- Our physical body; its relaxedness, tension, structure and responsiveness
- Our micro expressions
Our very best performance is eroded and customers witness something less than our best expression.
No one comes into work to do a bad job but when our state is rocking we all know it’s harder to deliver our best.
Small signs of slippage are often displayed first as our facial expressions change, as can subtle elements in our voice, the language we use, our breath changes as do other major body signals.
All smiles at Terminal 2 Heathrow Airport
Four days after its opening I flew from the new Terminal 2 and was bowled over by the welcome. There was an extremely high proportion of staff to customers as they are not yet flying to full capacity.
Its probably the best, most welcoming, almost loving service experience i’ve ever had. The level of proactive smiles, hello, welcome from almost every single person was outstanding and such a pleasant and uplifting surprise from the normal inconsistencies in customer service land.
Coincidently, (Or not) from a business perspective I spent more while at the airport than I have in any other in the last ten years.
The bigger test of course comes in a few months time when the terminal scheduled is jammed with many more flights.
What will happen to everyones state when the stress impact really kicks in?
Because the smiles, the wow, the customers spend depends in it.
Are the smiles likely to diminish and understandably so – considering
- What training do organisations give on state management?
- What proven wisdom do leaders share as they model state management to staff?
Probably none because (in my 21 year experience) state management learning is seriously under appreciated in the corporate world.
It seems to be an assumption that everyone will cope – and like all nefarious assumptions they make asses out of us all.
State Management – More than just skills
Managing our state is as much about mind set as it is skills. Developing our
- Mental and emotional flexibility
- Empowering beliefs
- Mindfulness (towards emotions and thoughts)
- An understanding of how anxiety affects our body and brain and how our body increases anxiety
When we combine learning in these areas we improve resilience, engagement and results.
Not to mention our care of duty for staff, fulfilling our corporate responsibility.
If you would like more information about gettingt he best from staff and customers contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org