“A-ha” moment: noun – a moment of sudden insight or discovery
We’ve all had an ‘a-ha’ moment. And when we do, we relish the feeling. It’s like a spark that ignites and compels you to remain in that moment of clarity.
The intimacy and immediacy of the work we do with our clients through our myPractice offering often generates a-ha moments for their employees on what they need to do to be better in their role. We offer programs through myPractice aimed at Sales leaders, customer service professionals, and managers from diverse industries. When they complete our programs, they leave with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity for their people and their organizations.
With thousands of hours of myPractice experiences under our belts and over 20 years of data and feedback to reference, we see ‘a-ha’ moments all the time. I want to share the Top 5 ‘A-ha’ moments that I’ve encountered and show you the impact not only on the employee but on their organization, too.
A-ha Moment #1: The importance of active listening
The most frequent realization is that people aren’t truly listening.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you are listening to someone. If you peel the onion on most communication issues, it comes down to our personal filters and the unconscious assumptions we make. We can’t help but respond ‘autobiographically’ to what we hear. We think we see, we think we hear and then we jump to conclusions, which only serves to undermine our active listening. Challenge yourself to really hear what is being said before making any assumptions. Listen without trying to solve the problem, and ask more questions.
“It’s easy to look and nod at someone but to really listen and uncover what it is they truly want? That’s not easy. I think I come across as a trusted advisor when I listen and park all my assumptions so that I can make a good recommendation.” – Financial Advisor, Banking
A-ha Moment #2: Paraphrase back what you heard
Most miscommunications stem from not taking the time to truly understand what is being said. When our clients realize that they have not been doing this, they instantly see the negative impact that comes as a result.
The great thing about paraphrasing is that it actually forces you to listen and lets you practice how to summarize what you heard. The added benefit is that your audience will feel heard. People feel validated when they feel heard. Good listening makes people feel important and understood. This is what elevates a relationship to the next level. In essence: Say what you see and say what you hear.
“Repeating back what a stressed person says to me is such a great thing to do! It totally calms the person down because it proves that I was listening and that I heard them. It’s so cool how a simple thing can be so powerful.” – Front Line Customer Service Employee, Transportation Industry
A-ha Moment #3: So that’s what empathy is!
Relationships don’t evolve when an emotional connection has not been made. Recognizing the need to be empathetic clears the path to making that connection.
Many people hear the word ‘empathy’ and glaze over because it is an overused term. Empathy is not about being sorry or having sympathy. It’s about trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. If paraphrasing is repeating back the facts, empathy is about paraphrasing the emotions you see or hear. While empathy is not an easy skill to acquire, you can learn to pause and listen and seek to understand through practice.
“Customers don’t open up easily. Making a connection allows me to dive more deeply into personal circumstances. Using empathy can really make a difference with our customers. I need to bring more empathy to balance out the business side of things; to really care for the customer.” – Financial Advisor, Banking
A-ha Moment #4: This will help me do my job better… and live my life better
As painful as well designed experiential learning approaches can be for the participant, you need to provide learning environments that reflect your employees’ reality. It’s not easy and requires an experiential learning mindset.
‘Off the shelf’ learning is great for knowledge acquisition but if you seek real skill acquisition and behaviour change, your best course of action is to create realistic simulations that can be experienced and practiced. This allows your employees to feel, viscerally, the impact of their actions – for better or for worse. By offering learning in a safe environment and providing supportive feedback, learners have the freedom to practice a skill, adjust and try again – the key to more ‘a-ha’ moments.
“I really appreciate doing the roleplays. It was a tremendous experience. Thank you for giving us the skills and support to try, fail and grow. These are skills that I will take with me, whether at work, home or at play. Thank you!” – Front Line Customer Service Employee, Transportation Industry
A-ha Moment #5: I can’t believe my company did this for me!
In these days of constant change and an unrelenting focus on the bottom line, it’s not surprising that employees feel less and less supported. The ‘a-ha’ moment for employees comes when they recognize the investment their organization is making in them to become better.
Studies show that when organizations offer training opportunities for employees, job satisfaction and engagement also increases. Training ranks higher than mentoring, sabbaticals and tuition reimbursement. Employees often tell us how grateful they are that their organization is invested in them and how as a result, they feel a renewed investment in their organization. A win/win!
Training does not have to be expensive to be effective. Impact can be made in a short periods of time and with lasting effects.
“I think it’s that our firm has given us training. I think it’s awesome. I’ll work at the skills I have learned and make it a conscious behaviour each day to listen, and let my clients know I’ve heard them.” – Advisor, Travel Industry
Need an ‘a-ha’ moment of your own? Tell me which of the Top 5 interests you most and we will provide you with a free 30-minute practice experience.
Contact us to learn more about myPractice and how we can help your organization.
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