The job of the detective is to find the truth in the matter.

You may not have thought of yourself as a detective, but a good leader has a detective-like streak in them. They are curious, don’t accept all information at face value, and love the truth. There are two main areas where your detective skills will serve you well.

Sleuth out your clients

Some of your customers will tell you loud and clear what they like and don’t like about your team or what you do. The majority though will remain silent. Have you ever been somewhere and been asked about the service only to respond, “It’s fine,” or,  “Good.” when it really wasn’t? Your customers behave exactly the same way that you do! If you know that they aren’t going to automatically open up, you’ve got to sleuth out what your opportunities and successes are. Observe where your guests spend more time (and less time). This will help you see what areas interest them. Listen as they interact with their friends and family. Are they in good spirits? Are they complaining to each other about what is going on around them? Have general conversations with guests to discern their enjoyment level with you.

Here are some practical questions you can use to poll your guests:

  • Did you find everything you were looking for?
  • What do you wish we would do/provide to make your experience better?
  • What is your favorite thing about coming here?
  • Would you recommend us to others? Why or Why not?

Sleuth out your team

Just as your guests won’t automatically tell you how they feel, your team may not tell you about the undercurrent of the group. Too many times I’ve had an issue pop up to my level because the leader didn’t know what was really going on with their team. They may not tell you because they are afraid, don’t want to rock the boat, respect their leader, or they are uncomfortable doing so. Build a good rapport with all team members. Use your detective skills to clue in on those times when people seem off or are avoiding you. Ask questions often and include things outside of work. It helps to build your relationship with them, and it shows you are genuinely interested in them as a person. You may have all the trust in the world built up with them, but you have to know when you need to start digging and asking questions.

Be the detective and you’ll have a distinct advantage. You’ll be better in tune with your customers and you’ll head off employee issues before they truly manifest.

Make a better tomorrow.