Complacency is not professional development, at all. In fact, professional complacency is a great way to eventually lose customers. After all, they will realize you are not interested in their success, at all.
For starters, professional complacency prevents communication. Then, when you will not, or do not, communicate, you cannot collaborate.
Ultimately, gaps in critical information appear: between people, departments and business units. These deficiencies eventually compromise customer experience. Finally, the cascading impact of professional complacency has a domino effect on customer success and customer retention.
Take a look at these three real-life professional complacency scenarios. Any sound familiar?
Initially these incidents started out as minor, benign, discrete events. Eventually the little, seemingly random, behaviors became ingrained organizational habits over time.
In my Professional Playbook, when professional complacency becomes a personal, team, departmental or organizational habit, that situation is bad news for customers. Your goal, today, is to determine whether you identify with any of these real-life professional complacency stories.
Then take action. Let’s do something about the situation. Together.
“Right answers, know-it-all” professional complacency
You can’t communicate or collaborate with people who think they have all the answers. In addition, these folks feel their answers are the right answers. Regardless of where they sit in an organization, their level of education or professional discipline, “know it all” folks create stalemated business and technical conversations. They leave no room for innovation because there is no opportunity for collaboration. This scenario is a huge Elephant in the Room as staff is unable to move past know-it-all habits and attitudes. As a result, they deliver status quo, non-competitive deliverables for customers. In addition, a domino effect starts to occur as client conversations are stalemated by pervasive know-it-all internal mindset. Customers either settle for less. Alternatively, they move on to receptive, collaborative and valued vendors and suppliers.
“I don’t understand what you are saying” professional complacency
Then again, disruptive professionals make a career out of “not understanding” what anyone else is saying. As a result, they focus energy and attention on themselves as people attempt to explain themselves. Realistically, there are times during presentations and meetings when the speaker “loses” people. At that time, it is helpful to stop, clarify and make sure everyone is on the same page. However, the professional “I don’t understand” disruptor is never present to communicate, collaborate, get on the same page or innovate. As a result, they disrupt not only meetings and presentations. Their domino effect builds critical mass: when you don’t understand, throughput is disrupted as well. Consequently, output becomes ho-hum and noncompetitive.
“It’s not part of my job description” professional complacency
Some professionals embrace collaborative opportunities to flex mental muscles and stretch problem-solving capabilities. On the other hand, other professionals are averse to moving outside comfortable, predictable and defined duties. Alternatively, introverted employees may not understand how to communicate, collaborate and innovate. They truly do not know how to learn and improve themselves. They offer additional excuses such as: “I don’t have time to that” and “It’s above my pay grade.” They are professionally complacent because they are professionally incompetent.
Here is your To-Do exercise for identifying and overcoming professional complacency.
Ask yourself whether:
1. You work with complacent professionals; and/or
2. You, yourself, are guilty of professional complacency.
Then take action! Otherwise, you are being complacent about professional complacency. There’s no forward momentum in continuing to do the same things the same complacent way, is there?
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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