Serve Well

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I am in and out of hospitals a lot for work but generally that means in and out of a board room or office…..kind of like saying I visited Chicago but never left the airport. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend some time on a hospital unit. Simple product training to help out the team as we bring on the largest group of hospital we’ve ever brought on at the same time.

Sitting and absorbing things around me was a great boost. I forgot how much I love being in a hospital – really in a hospital.

I experienced an engagement between some leaders as they discussed an upset patient. All around us Nurses were getting together to give bedside report, and assignments were being made in software programs for technology tools.   The Charge Nurse filled the Manager in on an unfortunate situation. A patient, who didn’t want to be in the hospital (as no one really does…) was upset about her situation…..and frankly as I listened I thought “This will be pointless there will be no way to make this person happy….this situation is simply unfortunate.” The Charge described the family – her husband was sick, her family wanted her home, and she was stuck here and would need surgery. My heart hurt for that patient….for her family…..Stuck in a room that she didn’t want to be in waiting for information she really doesn’t want to hear.

The Manager determined to go round on the patient and see if there was a way to do “service recovery”. After she left, I couldn’t help myself but to ask the Charge Nurse so“that situation seems like a no win for you all – how do you deal with that? How do you turn that around?”

He looked at me and said something that will stick with me…. Sometimes you can’t “win” but winning isn’t really what I am concerned with or even that word Service Recovery. I am here to care for that patient. 

Gut check.

How often do we look at a service recovery situation in any business with the lense of “fix it” and the intention of “ to solve my problem”? How often do we focus on the result we need as a business as opposed to the result that they need?

A friend of mine uses the phrase “hold the space” a lot – she says “hold the space and focus on your intention”.

Holding the Space may sound odd and at some levels it is, but if you really think about it. It’s quite simple and elegant in forms of service recovery.

  • Let go of judgment of the situation.
  • Allow the other to have whatever experience they are having.
  • Give your Complete undivided attention

If you are not judging their actions and motives based on your lense then you will be able to really understand what they are experiencing. Quit being focused on your need to accomplish something, just let someone have their moment.   Let them be heard with your undivided attention. All while your intention and focus does not waiver from the idea of caring for that individual and serving them well.

So what is your intention when you go in to “service recovery” mode?

Do you care? Really care….for the lives you interact with on a daily basis. Vendor, do you care for the ones who use your products and recognize your role is to enable them to serve well in unwinnable life situations.

My hope is that as we grow our company and more people are exposed to data and analytics that they would remember that data isn’t a punitive tool. The intention is to bring awareness to a gap in how we provide care. Data should always be an enabling tool.

99% of the time Gap analysis is not about a behavior – it can be linked to technology, process or policy. Our job as leaders is to remove those road blocks to allow our teams to serve….99.9% of them all ready care. If you have hired right – you are not enabling “caring” you are enabling “serving”.

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