Time to SERVE relentlessly, SERVE endlessly, SERVE without reserve!
We have dug into the concept of CARING and why that makes a difference, UNDERSTANDING, and what that takes to really make it work, and lastly we will dig into PURPOSE and why we do what we do. But for now, let’s care enough to understand what it takes to truly SERVE someone else.
To SERVE…. What does it mean in our case in what we do with our clients? You can look up the word SERVE on the web and find a bunch of different perspectives on the meaning of the word itself. With respect to what our team does with our clients, here is my thinking.
To SERVE our clients, our team, our family, or whomever we choose to engage with is, for me, the same thing. And it is not too complex. Fundamentally it means ACTIVELY helping someone else achieve what THEY hope to achieve. A couple of key elements are involved here. ACTIVELY means we are directly, personally, individually involved in helping another PERSON get something done that it is important to THEM.
While corporations and companies are the frameworks behind much of what we work to accomplish, the reality is that the key to SERVING is that at its best it means involvement with a specific person. Often times as a part of a group of people, a team, a department, a formal or informal structure. We SERVE at the personal level, helping to accomplish individual goals that most times are in fact tied to corporate outcomes. All of this is ACTIVELY planned, done, and reviewed (PLAN/DO/REVIEW). Well-understood, carefully orchestrated actions that co-create the outcomes that we understand matter greatly to those we serve. That is where THEM comes into play.
The plans created, the process executed, and the outcomes aimed for, must all be built with the person you are serving as the center of the universe. Everything must focus on THEM! Timing, details, objectives, measurables, risks, rewards….everything must be built around the world of the person that you are choosing to actively help.
The text below is a bit of an extract from many of the forums on the web on Servant Leadership. I have substituted the “client engagement” words in many cases for the word leadership. You will see the great similarity in the two concepts. I can make the case that Servant Leadership is in fact a client-based set of values and actions and you can swap the terms pretty easily.
THE 4 TRAITS of GREAT SERVANT CLIENT ENGAGEMENT (aka Servant Leadership)
1. Encourage diversity of thought.
Servant client engagement encourages everyone to think outside the box and considers every perspective when tasked with moving the needle forward. The final decision is the byproduct of collective collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Power never rests with one person, but with everyone on the team contributing to the end result.
2. Create a culture of trust.
How can client engagement teams build a higher level of trust? By being crystal clear about everything. All communications need to be specific and disseminated to every single level of the organization, top to bottom. If you are not transparent and fail to serve a clear purpose, no one is going to care. Being transparent foments trust, which has a direct correlation to successful outcomes. Remember, trust is earned, not given. Have you earned your client’s trust?
3. Have an unselfish mindset.
It’s not about you. It never was and it never will be. It’s about the people who make it all work. Great client engagement teams help facilitate the success of others and make everyone feel valuable and that their contributions matter to the overall success of the effort.
4. Foster service to others.
Fostering service to others comes in many forms, including coaching, mentorship, and growth. Take the time to teach someone the ropes, to offer words of encouragement, and answer questions that others have for you. Great client engagement teams give back. They are able to put together a diverse group of people from all parts of the organizations that they serve and that they are a direct part of.
Servant client engagement professionals give more of themselves not because they have to, but because they want to. They are transparent, honest, and yes, even vulnerable. That sounds like it would be a weakness, but it actually can help build you up as a client engagement professional and let others see you as a human being, with values that matter to all.
OK, LET’S ROLL!
Time to SERVE, relentlessly!