Stephen Covey’s the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® – Habits #4, #5, & #6
Covey’s fourth habit encourages people to focus on cooperation rather than competition.
When you, your customers, and vendors work together to create a situation that is beneficial to all involved, it leads to greater productivity and satisfaction all around. Win-win scenarios are a multi-way street. Sometimes, the best option may be to walk away if another party is not willing to meet you in the middle.
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD®
Covey’s fifth habit addresses how critical good listening skills are.
By becoming a better listener, you can help avoid or de-escalate tricky customer situations. For example, if a homeowner is upset because their deck project is on a two-week delay, consider giving the customer your full attention—rather than quickly becoming defensive—as they share their disappointment. Then, acknowledge their feelings, explain (don’t make excuses!), and propose a resolution. After being heard fully, the customer may be more understanding.
This sixth habit involves the concept “two heads are better than one.”
Think about the importance of teamwork in your business. It’s not very practical for one person to design and build a fence or deck entirely by themselves, is it?
Through sharing ideas, collaborating on processes, and cooperating to get the job done, we (our team and our customers) can get better results.
Next Issue: Covey’s final Habit!