This paper will help improve your quality of life. It might be you’re in the position of a father, mother, manager, service advisor, technician or anything else listening is essential. It should be considered a talent or skill that we all need to improve. I’ve heard it said that if you want to be considered a good conversationalist, just listen. Whenever you listen closely to what people are trying to say to you there some guidelines you should follow.
All good listeners understand that eye contact is critical if you want to really hear somebody. If you’re involved in a conversation with somebody how are you going to hear them unless you remove disruptions? Have you ever been in conversation where the other person answers their cell phone in the middle of it? How did that make you feel? Most would consider it rude to wait repeatedly for the other person to have time to finish cell phone conversations while attempting to make a point. At the very least, you would feel the other person considers your conversation not important.
Most cell phones today also have text messaging that makes a noise to inform an individual that a new message has arrived. Many people will stop the conversation so they can answer the text message. Another way to make sure that the individual involved in the conversation isn’t important. If you want to be a better listener turn your cell phone off when you’re involved in a conversation. This will improve your relationships with family, friends, and employees that you are involved with on a daily basis. The best part of someone seeing you turn your cell phone off before conversation begins is that it makes them feel important. They believe you want to listen to their point of view.
Take the Time
It’s very important that you consider the timing of the conversation. If you’re rushed to achieve a project, then it’s not the time to begin a conversation that would distract you from completion. It’s better to delay a conversation before it begins, try setting a time that’s convenient for both parties to chat. If you do set a time for conversation, meet the commitment to the time that you have set. If you don’t it will make the other person involved feel put off.
Develop Your Listening Skills
Now that you’re aware these listening skills, take my challenge and develop them with a solid effort for improvement.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
Two of the most important words in our language are “try again”. If you consider every major accomplishment in the world today the individual responsible for it said those words often. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, and when he stated, he had over 10,000 failed attempts. He was quoted as saying “it wasn’t a failure he just found successfully 10,000 ways a lightbulb would not work”. What if he didn’t try again? Let’s look at how we can benefit using these words in our dealership and in our lives!
Say It Often
I encourage everyone to look at your life and evaluate ways you can improve. Some common things in the service department I hear are “I don’t have the time to have Advisors perform the walk around”. “I don’t have time for installing another process”. Generally, anything that starts with I can’t or I won’t ends up being an excuse.
Smoking is an example, I often use as illustrating a bad habit in our life. They quit for a while and start back up. What two better words to use in this example could be said? In my own life I struggle with keeping my weight in line. The same two words apply in this example. Everyone has an area of opportunity for improvement in their life or dealership. We may use examples where we have fallen short of the goal set. Let’s get in the habit of saying “try again” often.
I think it’s important that you not expect failure when you use these two words. Make a strong commitment to achieving whatever process or goal you have determined important to achieve. This is a strong leadership quality, use it to develop your life. Set a goal and except nothing less than your best effort to achieve it. Mean it!
Determine What It Takes
Time spent determining what is best practice to achieve your desired result is critical to reach your goals. An example for our dealership might be; the customer intake process in the service Department. What is the best way to schedule appointments? How long does it take our service department to do an oil change?
Your entire team must develop standards for excellence with the understanding that the customer is the ultimate reason we are in business. These standards should also be in our lives individually. If you never reach for improvement what is your chance of achieving any? Try Again.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.