Eat this and you will be a true champion
In Andre Agassi’s fridge lies the answer to the type of diet we need to feast on if we want to be the best we can be. I find it hard to swallow. Do you?
A friend once asked the guy next to him on a plane what he did for a living.
“I’m one of tennis player Andre Agassi’s three backhand coaches,” the man replied.
WOW! Three backhand coaches! Agassi was clearly a guy who feasted on feedback. And they say feedback is the food of champions. The lesson is clear. We need to become feedback gluttons if we are to reach our full potential. Just as Agassi did, over many years.
Now- I love feedback- so long as it’s positive. If it’s not, then I spiral into a series of emotions- from outright rejection, to anger, to depression, to resentfulness, and then finally, to revengefulness- all leading to proactive action… to my embracing the feedback and doing something about it. And then being grateful for it. But it is not an easy path.
I wish I’d been more proactive and persistent in seeking feedback during my career. I would have grown, learnt and achieved more. And made more friends along the way.
Don’t make my mistake. Please. Become feedback junkies. Don’t look for praise. Look for honest, ‘warts and all’ feedback.
Feedback is also critical to keeping and growing client relationships and building key internal stakeholder relationships if you work within a corporate. Existing clients are your fastest route to more revenue. Treat them like gold. Listen carefully. Ask often- “How are we doing? How could we do better?”
Here’s a simple feedback process that works.
It’s a simple Traffic Light system. Green- all good! Amber- caution. Be on the alert. Red – Woah! We have a problem. Take action- NOW!
Here’s how the system works. Identify 10 questions. Have someone not working on the account team meet with the client for half an hour every four to six months. For each question, the client (or internal stakeholder) needs to simply score their response Green, Amber, Red. Your colleague can then probe on the Amber and Reds….“Why do you say that? What’s the issue? What needs to be done to move that back to a Green, and fast?” Here’s a sample 10 questions:
1. Are you happy with our service?
2. Do we deliver good value for money?
3. Do we understand your business well enough?
4. Do we have the right account service team working with you?
5. Are we reliable?
6. Do we provide the right level of new ideas, thinking and creativity to the work we do with you?
7. Do you consider us a Trusted Advisor?
8. Would you recommend us to others?
9. Are we proactive enough?
10. Do we regularly exceed your expectations?
This system works. Try it. Share your stories if you do- please. Do you have some good ‘feedback’ war stories already to hand? Again- share them- please!