Perception is the Difference

February 15, 2010 | By | 2 Comments

The iris reader in passport control was out of order at Heathrow Terminal One this weekend.

When I remarked on it to an official there (with care, as I had been delayed long enough), he smiled and said, ‘Well, it’s usually working 99% of the time’.

Since I’d only recently joined this scheme, designed to more quickly get you through the queues at passport control, I was disappointed.

I then reflected that 1% out of order for them was 100% out of order for me.

It’s about perception. What seemed a small outage for the people at Heathrow was my total experience, so, noticeable and a big thing for me!

In the work we do as managers, there are many issues we engage in with our people.

By its very nature, our perspective is very different from theirs – and here’s where we have to be careful and learn to be good managers.

Our insights into what is very important to them must be given extra focus, because otherwise we will miss things that make the biggest differences to them, small though they might appear to us in our role.

And this is as inherent a part of our job if we want to make a decent fist of management.

Because, frankly, most managers don’t understand that being interested in what’s important to their people, is most likely to be of high value to the team and organizational performance.

Can you see where the 1% view needs to be from the 100% angle?

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Filed in: Customer Service, Leadership and Management, Personal Development | Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (2)

  1. Great point and true for both management and customer service! Whatever your failure percentage may be, it’s 100% for those who experience it. Great managers see from the customer perspective, the organizational perspective, the team member perspective and the peer perspective.

  2. Thanks Katy.

    The key here is to get our people attuned to the perceptions of our customers.

    And, not to forget that we, as managers, must completely understand and respond to those ‘100% issues’ that hold them back – in any way – from being their very best for us.

    It’s a manager’s role to appreciate and deliver on this.

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