Understand the Nature of a Service-Minded Attitude
If you’re here on OpenClassrooms today, it’s because you want to take courses related to your current job or one you’d like to learn more about. What do most courses teach you?
They give you knowledge – you take courses, in part, to learn about theory.
They teach you know-how - the techniques and methods you need to apply the theory to real-life situations.
You might think that knowledge and know-how should be enough to get you through any given situation, but is that true?
How many times have walked into a store or a restaurant where the staff hardly looked at you? Why is it that you may walk 10 minutes further to go to “the good bakery” where the owner is “nicer than the other guy?”
You can see where I’m heading with this: it's not enough to just be good at your job, you also need to know how to behave! You're more likely to frequent a store where the owner behaves in a way that makes you feel welcome, right?
But, ummm...can that actually be learned? How does one learn how to behave?
Well, that's why you're here.
The good news is that you’ve been learning how to deal with others since childhood, whether it was with family, with friends, at school, or at work. You already have the potential you need to become a relationship whiz.
Identify a Service-Minded Attitude in the Workplace
"What makes someone service-minded?"
We asked this question to two people:
“When I’m dealing with my clients, I always ensure I do certain things. Firstly I am always transparent with them, especially if there’s going to be a delay for delivery or if my client is unhappy for any other reason. The idea behind being transparent is that it means I never waste my clients’ time. Secondly, I always provide my clients with information about all aspects of the project and send across any news which might interest them/their company. Thirdly, I know how to be firm and say no to my clients, explaining why it’s best for both of us not to do what they are asking. Fourthly, they feel that they can always get in touch with me if they need advice: change management and giving them the contact details of a competitor if I cannot meet their needs. Last of all, I’ve learned how to say no to toxic clients in order to ensure that the fundamentals are always there in all my business relationships: mutual respect and trust.”
"Being service-minded is something you have to work on, it’s not something that is necessarily natural to do in the long term: it’s not the same with a one-off service as it is for a more regular service, like with IT support, for example. You must clear about your approach, you must maintain a relationship of trust and goodwill as well as being diplomatic and helpful whenever difficult things need to be said."
Based on our on conversations with David and Sébastien, we defined 3 characteristics of a service-minded attitude:
Communicating Effectively: Mastering the fundamentals of effective communication is important. This includes, setting up a conversation for success, listening with intent, and asking relevant questions.
Personalizing Your Relationships: No two people are going to be the same. Knowing how to adapt your behavior to fit the needs, personalities, and motivations of the other person is of utmost importance.
Adapting to Challenging Situations: Communication is not easy! Going beyond the basics, it's important to be able to handle objections, give and receive feedback, and set boundaries!
In this course, we are going to explore each of these characteristics in greater detail! Remember them at all times as they are the fundamental principles of how to be service-minded.
Over to You Now!
Open your workbook once again and answer the following questions:
Which of your professional relationships meet the majority of the criteria? For how many people is it hard to say whether or not the relationship is working?
Working on being more service-minded means developing a relationship of trust between two individuals.
You already have the potential and experience to develop this soft skill: you simply need to learn how to structure this and practice it in real life.
Being service-minded requires you to bring together different skills: communicating effectively, personalizing relationships, and adapting to challenging situations.
Now that you know what being service-minded is and what you need to develop it, we can look at how intentions often influence actions and how important it is to prepare before an important interaction with a business contact in the next chapter.