Search Results for: the space between
When I was a younger human, I found much in my small world that made me angry, and there were times when I allowed that anger to dictate my words or actions. I’m not proud of those moments, and truthfully, I’ve worked hard to reform my thoughts and deeds to make me a servant leader worth my salt. Even so, every day provides me the opportunity to hold myself accountable to the man and leader that I aim to become.
Many years ago, Viktor Frankl, a sage man whose life and writings I admire, penned a statement that in his memoir Man’s Search For Meaning that resonates with me still today. “Between stimulus and response, there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor survived the Holocaust, internment in four concentration camps, including Auschwitz, the loss of his parents, brother, and pregnant wife, while enduring monstrous personal abuse at the hands of the Nazis. If a man who walked in those impossible shoes says there is power in the space between, then that is a concept I can embrace.
On the downside of any adversity – choice remains. Whatever stimulus acts upon you such that your feelings become the driver of your response, the space between is invaluable. Customers who seem irrationally upset about an issue – the choice of how to listen and how to respond endures. Family members, friends, or co-workers who demonstrate heightened emotions – the space between their words and your response is available to you as valuable fertile soil to create an elevated, reasoned, and more loving reply.
I encourage you to seize the space between and allow it to manifest as growth in you.
Ran across a great post over at Brains on Fire recently that spoke to the necessity of companies being human. It’s well beyond the time of shedding fear. In their terms; “welcome to a brave new world.” Be it on your facebook pages, your blog, your web copy on the phone or in person; it’s paramount that you go for friend first and business transaction second. The hard part is letting your company hair down; in that context consider this.
In order to examine the role of self-disclosure in perceived credibility, 120 students between the ages of 18 and 23 were split into three groups. Each group followed the tweeting of a supposed professor. One group saw only scholarly tweets, one group saw only social tweets and the last group saw a mix of the two. Each “professor” included the same number of tweets and hyperlinks. Students were asked to rate the credibility of the professor they followed based on the tweets they observed.
It’s Time to Shine
Imagine for a moment; you meet a cool guy or gal at xyz function and decide that the two of you should get together again sometime. You agree to call in a couple days to see about a time and place to meet. When you call you let him/her know that you have appts stacked on top of appts but you can squeeze them in around six two months from Tuesday. Oh and, by the way, don’t forget to bring your credit card.
It’s a bit tongue in cheek but in the same respect it is how we treat the human beings that are reaching out to befriend us in our businesses. “Thank you for calling Hidden Treetop Village on Golden Pond Apartments; this is Suzy Trying to Hard to be Cheery Cardwell; how can I be of service to you today?” People see right through the lipstick.
Do we talk to friends like that?
In March 2011, I wrote about changing up the way you think about prospects and residents. “Prospects and residents are human beings and or people first. Think of it this way, treat them as prospects or consumers and you are treating them according to your needs. Turn that around and treat them as people or humans and you are treating them according to their needs.”
Earlier this year the post Business is Personal, discussed being in service of the whole humans who work for and serve the business. On the surface, these two admonitions may appear to be in conflict, but I believe they are two sides of the same coin.
Hot Under The Collar
Many times, when a resident calls the home office, the caller is hot under the collar, feeling that their needs haven’t been met or that they have fundamentally been disrespected. The follow-up conversation with the site team often runs along the same lines – they feel that the resident violated policy, was rude, and want to know that the company ‘has their back’ in the conflict – often quoting some form of evidence that they were right, and the resident is wrong.
In this right vs. wrong mindset, there are no winners. Either/or is almost always a sucker’s choice and leaves at least one party feeling maligned and misunderstood.
I know from personal experience that some residents seem to press all the buttons and when that happens, it is easy to get caught up in an emotional hailstorm. But when my buttons are pressed, it is MY responsibility. How I manage those feelings and how I respond are completely within my control. It isn’t the resident’s fault if I ‘lose it’. To paraphrase Viktor Frankl, there is power in the space between stimulus and response. We have the power to choose and, in our response lies the opportunity for growth.
When a business accepts the responsibility to act in service of its team members with a culture that actively removes barriers to healthy communication, it promotes a standard of psychological safety. In that climate, it becomes easier to engage in difficult conversations and team members learn how to resolve conflicts without defaulting to triggered emotional responses.
You Win – I Win – We Win
When the overall stated goal is to generate better outcomes for everyone instead of winning at all costs, it increases the likelihood that residents will feel heard, and their issues will be resolved in a way that benefits them.
Ultimately, the business wins when the team members do, and we all benefit when our customer wins.
What are you doing to create winning situations for your team members and customers? Share your stories with us!
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Episode 46 | ApartmentHacker | Mindset
Episode 47 | ApartmentHacker | Lost Productivity
Episode 48 | ApartmentHacker | The Space Between
Episode 49 | ApartmentHacker | Dirty Socks and Apple Pie
Episode 50 | ApartmentHacker | Playing Below the Line
Beginning with the end in mind was popularized by the late Steven Covey in his wildly popular book – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The principle is extremely useful when it comes to setting goals both personally and professionally.
Covey uses a powerful story to set the stage for building ones life aim. Morbid as it may sound he suggests imagining yourself attending a funeral.
He suggests that you quickly come to the realization that the funeral is your own. He then suggests you imagine for a moment that four people are lined up to speak on your behalf. One from your professional life. Another from your family. One from your church or civic organization. And lastly a close friend.
Knowing the four people that you would like to speak on your behalf Covey then asks you to write your own eulogies. All from those respective points of views.
The over arching premise is to help you define what you truly value in your life and how you want people to remember you. And knowing that; you can work backwards to develop a plan to live by.
I think the same applies for any business that is trying to scale. They first must have the end in mind. They first must know what they want to be a decade from now, 20 years and 50 years from now.
Organizations must understand it from the point of view of an employee, a vendor, an investor, and a customer. An organization must hypothesize their own organizational eulogies.
And once they understand their underlying values then and only then can they work backwards and set the mission, vision and strategy to build the business by.
Organizations are set in place to serve the people that serve it. They are set in place to build character in others and the default of that investment is a business that builds itself.
Mills Properties will embark on this journey in 2015. I’m not 100% sure what the journey will look like or where it will take us but I will be writing about it along the way. And a decade from now I trust we will arrive at this very place and see it anew for the first time. Not because the fundamental landscape will have changed but we as people and professionals will have grown.
You’re looking forward to the space between Multifamily Maniac,