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Service should not only take place in the service sector, says Thomas Gelmi, expert for personal and interpersonal competence. He further develops this idea and says: “What if we are basically all service providers? And what if we are all customers at the same time? No matter what function or industry we work in. What if we were going about our work with the following basic attitude: Everyone I deal with is my client, and I am a service provider.”

Under this consideration, managers would naturally become service providers for their teams. “Employees would thus also become service providers for their managers and for peers in other departments who are affected by the results of their work. This would turn any form of leadership and collaboration into a service,” Gelmi continues.

In many cases, this service orientation even becomes an important competitive differentiator in the market, says Gelmi. He refers to Daniel Goleman, who examined this very service factor and discovered that an increase in service orientation within the company has a measurable effect on business results. “It should be emphasized that this service factor applies to all employee categories in the company – not just those who are in direct contact with external customers,” Gelmi explains.

The Ritz Carlton hotel chain with its credo ‘We are Ladies and Gentleman, serving Ladies and Gentlemen’ is a good example of a service orientation at eye level.

“Try to go through your company as a manager or as an employee for a few weeks with a consciously chosen service attitude. Besides friendliness and helpfulness, the creation of clarity and orientation can also be seen as a service. And observe how the quality of your relationships change and, as a result, the commitment and helpfulness of those you are in touch with, improve,” the sparring partner for top managers concludes.

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