We see it all the time, people focus on their own needs first. That leaves the needs of others come in somewhere after. Unfortunately, that does not always work in when you are a Customer Service professional, and not the customer.
It is time to go against Pop Culture, which has polluted thinking with these kinds of statements. On the surface, ideas like the ones above tell people that they need to care for and value themselves and what they do first, before they can be useful to others. This is only a half-truth.
Developing positive self-esteem comes from performing estimable acts. In other words, people derive good feelings and confidence because of the actions they take – what they do. They don’t need to feel good about themselves first, in order to play well in life.
Confidence is directly tied to competence. Too often customer service people struggle, not confident in their dealings with customers and delivering poor service as a result. Yet, if they focus on their self-esteem, they are not addressing the problem. Self-esteem is a merging of self-confidence and self-respect. Customers want to know that the employee they are working with is confident and will be able to serve them in a professional manner.
Having a service mindset means putting others before yourself. Putting others first requires re-ordering your priorities and taking care of another’s needs ahead of your own. This doesn’t sound fun.
The reward in placing yourself after others is in the value you get–from your own actions–and from the affirmations of those you’ve helped. Practice means improvement, and getting better at focusing on others means that you will develop a more keen emotional sense of what people need, expect, and want.
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