Slow down with your customers: when you're interacting with clients, your relationship matters almost more than the products/goods you're selling. If the client feels rushed, chances are they don't feel like you're listening. Fast service often equates to unfriendly service. If you've taken the time to woo your clients, inviting them in, pitching new goods/services, and setting aside some time to converse and develop a more meaningful relationship, why shortchange them and rush the experience? If you're in the business of relationships, your goal should be for the client to feel as though you're their only client of the day, giving them your full attention, courtesy, and care. Furthermore, if you pretend they're your only client for the day, you'll also be more in tune with their needs and maximize their spending potential.
Slow down with your employees: when you're constantly rushing from task to task, event to event, meeting to meeting, or location to location, you're often missing out on the power of observation. How do you implement best practices, let alone have the opportunity to make any decent observations? If you're always in a rush, you're setting the tone for your employees and teammates to also speed things up, in turn cutting corners, sacrificing quality for lackluster quantity. Not only will your employees pick up on this behavior, your customers will notice as well. Employees who feel appreciated and enjoy their job environment always work harder, smarter, and pass this positivism on to your clients. Everyone wins.
Slow down with yourself: even the most organized, disciplined multitaskers need a break. It's impossible to always "be on" without taking time to recharge the body, mind, and soul. Whether it's incorporating lunch daily away from your industry, colleagues, and office, planning a quick coffee break or walk around the parking lot, or ultimately a holiday away from life as you know it, getting away, taking a moment to slow the pace and breathe, will allow for greater successes upon your return.
Slow down your interactions: our society is "on-demand" - we want what we want, when we want it, and exactly how we've planned. Sometimes, switching up your interactions will cause your clients, coworkers, and even your competitors to rethink their own agendas. If you always walk the same path from your office to the toilet, choose a different direction. If you always eat in the same cafe, try somewhere new. When you alter your vantage point, you see things differently.
My favorite journalism professor in college taught some powerful life lessons. She'd encourage us to take "walk-abouts" - getting into our community, looking for the extraordinary in our everyday. What looks different? Why is something the way it is? What motivation do you see? What energy is present? What is the tone of your surroundings? If you take a moment to get out of the box, you'll think outside of the box, too.
I'd ask you to stop what you're doing right now, but I hope you at least finish reading my humble thoughts. So when you've completed this moment, I encourage you to do the following exercise:
- turn off your mobile communication devices
- go outside (either your home or office)
- take a quick walk. Introduce yourself to someone you don't know. If you see employees working, family members positively contributing, children behaving, be sure to stop for a moment, meaningfully observe, and thank them for their contributions.
- observe. What do you see that you love? What can you improve? What can you enhance of yourself?
When you slow down, you ultimately speed things up.