No, your significant other didn’t write the title for this blog.  Nonetheless, it’s likely not the type of title that gets you excited, but give it a minute of reading.

How many times have you said or asked some or all of the following:

  • Staff isn’t reliable any more
  • Customers are so hard to satisfy these days
  • Why doesn’t staff stay in the job longer?
  • Why can’t I get ahead here?
  • My boss just doesn’t get it
  • My staff doesn’t get it

Sound vaguely familiar?   There are real problems that we deal with, no matter your position in retail.  The problem however is that if you’re saying these things or asking these questions, you’re looking outwards instead of inwards.

I truly believe that the key to success as a leader is self-awareness. Yes, there are many qualities that make a great leader, however, as I listen and observe in the retail space, I see one consistent thing happening … blame!  Yes, blaming instead of self-awareness.

For a moment, let’s see if we can turn that around.  Let’s start with listening.

That’s one common flaw.  We often tune out or cut people off because it’s hard to stop the drive to want to take over.  We don’t listen to understand … we listen to respond instead.  We are completely unaware that we do this and how it affects other people.

We do a lot of pushing and not enough pulling.

When we spend more time asking questions and truly listening to what our people are saying, they feel respected … and you have the opportunity to discover what the real issue is.  That’s an important first step to self-awareness.

I’ll write more about self-awareness in the near future.  But for now, consider the possibility that the real problem you’re having to deal with is … you.

Linda Montalbano is a true retail operator with a history of leading large retail teams to success. If you need a fresh perspective on what's going wrong in your stores, Linda is the one to tell you like it is and come up with a solid game plan to turn things around!

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