Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Not In The Job Description

Most of the people we work with on a daily basis understand the parameters of our job. However, there are a few people that we come across that really have no idea what it is that we do. Every once in a while I check my email only to find request after request for things do be done that do not fall under my job description nor does it fall under the services that my company provides. This is an all too common (usually from the same people over and over again)... we are seen as he corporate catch all when there is a shift in the in house marketing staff. Usually, when there is a vacuum in the marketing and sometimes sales side, we are for some reason the ones that they turn to.

As is probably clear by some of the things that I have written over the past year, I am not one to shy away from work. Frankly, I enjoy working and I am always looking for something that is a bit of a challenge, something that I may have never worked on before. But those are the things that I do in my free time. When a client is paying us for the work that we do, it is not in anyone’s best interest for us to attempt to complete a project, taking away time from the things that we are paid to do, without assurance that we would do the best job at it.

We know what we are good at and we know what we have much less experience with. This seems to keep getting lost in the communication no matter how clearly or bluntly it is stated. It just goes to show that sometimes communication is only as good as how much someone listens. We are all guilty of not listening and letting assumptions dictate our perceptions. Let me put it a different way…

We have all made calls to customer service for one reason or another. But, let’s be honest, usually it is because we have a complaint. The majority of the time we begin losing a little reality and assign authority or jobs to the person on the other line. We don’t really stop to think if they will be able to rectify the problem. We decide what their job description is without asking what they are able to do.

However, there are times when we call, listen, and have a conversation knowing full well that they may not be able to answer all our question or find a solution on the spot. And you know what… when you don’t make assumptions you might be surprised at the results. Comcast did that last week when I called to clarify my bill. Basically, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to go up any more and, if need be, see if I could lock in the current rate. By the end of the call, after a nice conversation with Deb, I hung up with my bill reduced by about 40%.

So, before you call or email, be ready to listen to the response. Don’t assume the job description of the person on the other end. And even when someone us unable to get the project done, think about where there efforts will be focused and the results that will come from concentrating their efforts on what they are paid to do. When you work toward your strengths, maintaining within the prevue of your job description, your efforts will match the outcome.