What You’re Really Saying Is…Culture Speak-Your Personal Business Language!
Your company, your people, your approach to business has a language all its own. It comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. Often times it is conveyed without speaking a word. This concept has been proven to be one of the most powerful and influential components to every successful business and has also been verified to be the driving factor for long term, sustained success! Care to know what I’m referring to? It is your culture- speak.
Your culture-speak is composed of the actions, the processes, the motivations that you perform on auto pilot across the board. They are the habits you develop with everyone and everywhere you do business. They are the things remembered most about the encounter with you. Culture-speak begins at the greeting and ends at goodbye. Culture -speak is also specific key words and phrases that identify your organization with those you serve. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising to promote a catchy slogan to help you think of them when the time comes to decide whom you will choose. Here are a few examples. “Just do it” -Nike; “What’s in your wallet?” -Capital One; How about this one…”when you care enough to send the very best” -Hallmark Greeting Cards. Not only do these phrases identify these companies, they distinguish them from the others! So let me summarize culture speak before we move on. Ready?
Culture-speak is the actions, processes, motivations, phrases and key words that are habitually performed throughout an organization that identifies and distinguishes them with those they serve. Your culture-speak is a powerful weapon!
So let me get right to it. What does your culture-speak look and feel like? Will I be able to distinguish a clear, noticeable difference in choosing you the first minute you greet me? Are there specific things in the encounter with you that you habitually perform? Here is an example. I know a dry cleaning establishment in my town that delivers your clothes to your car. You have to tell them if you wish to carry them yourself…the staff automatically (it’s a habit) takes your clothes off the rack and heads to your vehicle. I know exactly what is going to happen when I walk in the door. Culture-speak!
Are there specific ways you automatically greet customers when they walk in your door? I’m reminded of the sit-com Cheers when Norm walked in, everybody shouted his name “Norm!!! ” What a great welcome. Even the theme song to the show expressed it best, “you want to go where everybody knows your name”. Now I am not proposing you scream the name of every person who walks in but I am proposing a proactive greet first approach!
Are there specific statements or phrases that you say automatically that distinguishes you? There is one fast food establishment I go to at least four times a week and no matter the time of day, who waits on me or the location I choose, when I thank them for anything they all automatically say “my pleasure” and more importantly than the words…they really mean it! I actually tried to get them not to say it and failed miserably. It is part of who they are and just one of the reasons they are so successful.
Finally, even more so than the “what” to your culture speak, is the why. Why do you choose to do what you are doing? What is your motivation? Culture by definition is the pattern and activity behind the behavior- not what you do, but why! Your culture- speak will have a greater negative impact than a positive one if your language is expressed out of duty rather than desire! When you perform any activity, or say anything, do so with a sense of energy and enthusiasm. It should be everyone’s desire to make each and every encounter with you as pleasantly memorable as possible so they will tell others and keep coming back- Your culture-speak can’t be defined any better than this!
So as I close, my challenge to you is to take a good, hard look at your culture-speak. See what, how and why you do on auto pilot because whether you want to admit it or not, when it comes to the language of our approach to business, we all speak and demonstrate our very own.