MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL – What Do Others See?
“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” – Dale Carnegie
I sit here writing about “how we look” and it occurs to me it is much more than just a material sense of “look.” How we look is important not just on the outside but on the inside. Both you, your team and your community/company. It can be a huge differentiator between you and the six other competitors.
Did your mom ever tell you the nicer you look on the outside the better you feel on the inside? I used to think she just said that when I told her I didn’t feel good and didn’t want to go to school. But as usual, Mom was right. If I’m feeling a little down and blah, I try to look a little nicer that day. Maybe wear a skirt versus jeans, wear a new shirt or brighter colors and most oftentimes it works. That would probably hold true for your staff as well. Are they looking professional and polished? Chances are if they are, their attitude and demeanor will follow. Maybe, offer your nursing staff a few bright colored scrubs to wear. Or give your housekeeping team clean shirts with shiny logos that they are proud to wear. They “look” proud to be an employee, excited to learn something new, friendly to a new face and comforting to an old friend. Do you answer the phone with a smile on your face? Obviously no one can physically “see” you smile, but your look carries through the phone to the recipient on the other end.
What about your community? Does it have the “look” to make someone go WOW? I drove by a newer community the other day said to myself “I want to live there.” The front was very inviting; beautiful topiaries and white lights sat at the front entrance. Apparently, it’s difficult to look warm and inviting because many that I see lack those characteristics. But this one had the “look” inside and out You walked in the door and it was bright, inviting and had a sense of home-welcome. There were smiles on each team member’s face and they walked/talked with confidence and looked visitors in the eye when they said hello. I saw members of the entire team – sales, plant ops, housekeeping, dining services, operations, nursing, etc. (Never mind the fresh baked banana bread smell that immediately caught my attention.) The community looked like a place I could see a loved one living and one I would be excited to visit.
Operationally, maybe put a little color coding on those monthly reports and charts. Remember not everyone thinks and processes information the same. For the team members that are more visual and creative, a little color may go a long way. Helps explain your important points and is a little easier to follow. Perhaps add an inspirational or leadership quote to your invoices. Because trust me a little quote that puts a smile on my face, makes mid-month invoicing a lot more enjoyable.
As far as marketing, what does your brand look like? Does your logo and all of your materials “look” similar? Do they look like how you want your vendors, clients and prospect to “feel” about your company or community? Do they look the same or are they a hodge-podge and a collection over the past five years? Do your recruiting and staffing practices look like a company everyone wants to work for and with?
Hear me when I say – The look alone will not convince a prospect to move into your community or a client to do business with you. But combine it with the other four ways we have contact with the world and help give you the tools to make an emotional connection and build stronger more positive relationships and partnerships.
Until next time, when I talk about what we say, focus on your look!
Written by Jenn Cox, COO at Bild and Company.