Among other things, I teach Microsoft Office courses. Today I was scheduled to teach a virtual Microsoft Word class to a group of students across the US. I do this routinely, taking advantage of modern day technology. Mind you - it's not MY technology, or MY expertise that keeps things flowing. A great organization has hired me to teach some of their courses, which usually go off with little to no technical issues, and the virtual training is actually surprisingly effective. But...
Have you ever seen technology gone wrong? I mean REALLY wrong?
Today it all went wrong. Really wrong. Students logged on just fine. I logged on just fine. We started the class and then BOOM, we suddenly had another instructor for a different class in our virtual classroom, which caused serious mayhem. I won't bore you with the details, but know this... after an hour and a half, we finally had to cancel the class. What a disaster. But...
Here's what went right.
While we were struggling through the class, I continued to communicate with my students in any way that would work; if not by phone, by using a notepad that they could all see. COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
The amazing technical staff at this organization kept their cool, but DUG IN and gave it their all to fix the problem, constantly communicating with me so that I could communicate with the class. I never felt like I was on an island (even though I was sitting alone in my office). DILIGENCE IN COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
I worked hard to keep things light, to ensure my students that this NEVER happens, and to applaud them for their patience. We laughed when we could, and I listened to them complain when frustrations were rising. I listened. Just listened. Then asked them to tell me more. And I listened. LISTENING IS PART OF COMMUNICATION. IT'S KEY!
Finally, a manager from the HQ office jumped on the meeting and took ownership of the problem. She explained that this NEVER happens (it really doesn't!), that they had exhausted all of their resources with the host company to resolve the problem, and told the students that they would 'make it right' and contact each of them individually to figure out a solid go-forward plan. PART OF COMMUNICATION AND GREAT LEADERSHIP IS TAKING OWNERSHIP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG. IT'S KEY!
In the end, my students left the class, probably a bit frustrated, but also certainly understanding. Why? Because we all rallied together, communicated well, worked hard to fix the wrong, and took ownership of the problem. We apologized, and told our students we would take care of them. We made sure they understood that we valued their time, valued them as customers, and that they should expect more out of us in the future. And they should.
Bottom line: It's not that we FAIL that's the problem (after all, that's the human condition... sometimes we fail even when we try hard not to). And when we fail, we fall. But...
It's how we rise from the fall that matters.
This vital concept is built into my Sales, Customer Service, Leadership & Team Building courses. Why? Because it's essential for every businesses, and essential to our individual success . Providing excellence should be a top priority. Every time.
So the next time things go wrong (REALLY wrong) consider how you can rise well. It may just change the outcome of the situation to one that is better than it would have been if all went well to begin with!
© 2017 Made to Thrive Consulting, LLC. All right reserved