Being criticised is confronting. Dealing with negativity is a real downer. Fielding complaints sucks. But if we ignore or avoid dealing with the “bad” stuff we’re missing a vital opportunity to improve ourselves and our business. Jenni Gilbert looks down the barrel.
I rang Jacque Clayton to interview her about the latest news from and courses offered by GrayClay, the highly esteemed academy she founded that provides accredited medical aesthetics education to doctors, nurses, beauty therapists and entry-level students.
Instead – as I’m prone to wandering “off topic” (you learn the most interesting and useful stuff that way, I find) – I had one of the most enjoyable, enlightening and inspirational conversations in a long time.
The curriculum and calibre of GrayClay graduates is world class. The college is a go-to for medical and aesthetics professionals seeking to recruit new team members in Queensland, where GrayClay is based.
But I received my own very special education in our 30-minute chat, about life stuff that makes every bit of difference to … well, life … but also what differentiates a successful business from one that’s, well, not.
There were so many take-out points, but the one that grabbed my attention was the concept of being willing to hear negativity – and dealing with it head on.
We all have our ups and downs, challenges, frustrations, regrets, disappointments and difficulties. But it’s how we manage them makes all the difference to the outcome. Ergo, how that flows on to the business we do every day.
Some people get trapped in a rut of misery and resentment (mental health issues aside; a totally separate topic that requires understanding and professional help).
They’re frustrated with themselves and their lives and, unfortunately, tend to blame/take it out on those around them. It’s tedious at best, very unpleasant at the other end of the scale.
If it’s a client whose patronage helps support your livelihood, and who may have genuinely constructive feedback (despite how it’s expressed) that will help you to do a better job, “suck it up, listen and learn from it,” says Jacque. “It’s some of the best education you can have.”
GrayClay is involved in clinics that provide the procedures they teach.
“We had a client who couldn’t find free parking when she came for an appointment,” Jacque says. “We later received an email to the effect that `I will never visit your clinic again’.
“I mean, we have no control over the Gold Coast City Council City parking, but we rang this client to listen to her concerns.
“She vented her frustrations and we listened without getting defensive or arguing, even though the issue wasn’t our fault.
“We said that as a result of her experience we would in future keep a bowl of coins/tokens on the front desk so that people who didn’t have change for a meter would be able to park, no worries. This is no big deal for us.
“A couple of hours later she rang back to ask when she could book her next appointment!”
Just a couple of other take-outs from Jacque which we’ll expand upon in future stories:
- Do something nice for someone every day, without expectation of return. It doesn’t have to be about money. It could be just a word or gesture that makes all the difference to them, perhaps without you even knowing it. Your life will be bountiful for it.
- Be community-minded. As in, think about the wider picture. People help us all the time, to get through the day/week/year etc. Let’s give back, especially to the ones who are not as fortunate, materially, physically or emotionally, as us.
- The energy we put out we will inevitably attract.