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Rommel Anacan

Welcome to my blog on MFI! This blog allows me to have an ongoing conversation with multifamily professionals like you. My focus is on helping you and your companies succeed by helping you optimize the quality of your relationships. If you'd like more information about me, my company and the ways that I can help you, please visit my website at www.RelationshipDifference.com

Common Sense is Not a Training Tool!

Common Sense is Not a Training Tool!

I will start with the obvious-common sense is NOT common. Some of you think the toilet paper roll should be facing up while others of you think it should face down. Some people swear by a low-carb high-fat diet, while others think fats will kill you. In Hawaii (where I am from) it is considered rude to wear shoes in someone's home-in other parts of the country it's considered rude if you take them off.  Some people love Coke Zero while others love Pepsi Max. (The Pepsi Max people are wrong, BTW.) Just. Kidding. 

Common sense doesn't work!

Since common sense isn't common and we all actually have different ideas of what "common" is you cannot rely on common sense to be the main way you train and equip people for success. Here is what I mean by this-when you rely on someone to intrinsically know what you mean when you tell them to give "good customer service" or to make "good decisions" or to respond "well" to that negative review on social media, that is relying on "common sense."

Then when someone doesn't give good customer service, or make a good decision or responds poorly to a bad review, you might then get frustrated at them for not having sense enough to do whatever it is you felt they should have done in the first place; "You have NO common sense??? What is wrong with you???"

Does this sound familiar?

The More Effective Way

You need to give your people a clear roadmap of what you expect from them-in other words what it looks like, sounds like and feels like. So, instead of just telling someone to give "good customer service" you might say something like this,

"I want every person who walks in here to feel valued and cared for. That means when someone walks in we will stand up and greet them and ask, 'How can I help you today?' If they have a complaint this is how I want us to handle those complaints...if we cannot give the customer what s/he is looking for, this is how I want you to handle that scenario..."

Here are some other examples:

"As a brand new assistant manager I really need you to make good decisions. When I say good decisions that means decisions that are good for our company and also fair to our customers. For example if a resident is upset that a maintenance request took an extra day and is now expecting that we will give him one month free rent-giving one month free rent is NOT a good business decision. What do you think would be a fair resolution to that issue?"

"Telling the customer that he is an idiot, or laughing when the customer asks for one month free rent, or eye-rolling/smirking is also NOT a good business decision."

"When responding to a negative review we apologize, validate, acknowledge, apologize and offer solutions. This is what that looks like..."

Make it clear

In other words provide your people with a clear roadmap of what their performance should look like, sound like and feel like. If you have sales associates who are having trouble with overcoming objections don't just expect that they "should know" what to do, show them what to do. If one of your managers does not have great people skills you can't assume they'll get better! Recommend a book like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie or Winning With People by John Maxwell, or book me to speak to your team. (He-he-he. Sorry, couldn't resist!)

One of your main responsibilities as a leader is to ensure that your people are equipped for success. Don't get caught up in "style points" and how you think things should be. Focus instead on the things that work.

Until next time-thanks for reading!

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Rommel...I usually agree with you 100%. Today not so much. I think that common sense PLUS training is essential. Because my formal education is limited, common sense has been my mainstay and made me pretty darned successful. Heres a quick example. While interviewing for a manager, I ask this "If you have an angry resident, upset, raising their voice, how do you handle it? The one who says "I tell them to go home, grow up, calm down and when they can behave, come back." No common sense there. The one who is hired answers " I let them vent, tell them that I am there to help and to please give me more information. Magic common sense words like "I understand, I hear you, I'd be upset if that happened to me' help calm the'savage beast' Hopefully they learned that in one of our seminars, but I sure hope that they would have had the common sense to not provoke the resident. Thanks as always for a great post!

  Anne Sadovsky
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi Anne! Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting! I can see where you're coming from, and I'm with you! I think my point is based on my seeing teams get stuck when someone thinks, "Shouldn't she have known that??" and then instead of providing solutions they get stuck on what "common sense" the offending person should have had. So instead of providing solutions the conversation remains on what the other person "should have known." Or when a leader expects someone to know something and then frustration occurs when the person didn't know it. I just want to keep moving people towards solutions instead of getting stuck on the problem. That being said when I interviewed people I did the same thing you did-and didn't hire the people that I thought would create problems. And yes, I do believe that "common sense" is vital to survival! (= Hugs to you my dear!!

  Rommel Anacan
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Thanks Rommel for some fantastic words that continue to inspire thought. I wish I could remember the mentor that gave me the advice: "If common sense were more common, we wouldn't talk about it so much."

Every time I hear "it's only common sense" My brain automatically pauses anything the speaker says and ask's itself, Common to whom... me... you??? ...If the answer is you, shouldn't we have more information to make sure that not only are we on the same page... Are we in the same book? Thanks again Rommel!!!!!!

  Paul Rhodes
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Thank YOU Paul!! I love that quote from your mentor, too!

  Rommel Anacan
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This is great advice! This is a good positive perspective to help my leasing team succeed. Thank you!

  Brittany Lozano Stasko
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you Brittany!

  Rommel Anacan

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