Hey Everyone – Lynda from TJC here.  Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, but I am in hospital due to an infection from an impacted wisdom tooth extraction.  10 x Ouch!  Going home after one more IV antibiotics, so sitting here reflecting….what else is there to do???

Hospitals are amazing places, filled with incredibly caring people who provide a great public service. They’re also workplaces, where lessons learned can be applied elsewhere too.  So here’s my Wisdom from the Wisdom Tooth Hospital Tour!

1. Teamwork is Gold:   I saw some terrific and terrible examples.  In a public place, those examples are on display for all to see, and of course, people notice! A good team performance gives those watching a feeling of confidence in that team.  If you’re their customer, then that’s a healthy trust in the team’s abilities.  If the opposite is happening, then you can work it out!

2.  We all work in customer service:  don’t be fooled if the words ‘customer service’ are missing from your job title.  You’re not just processing paperwork, or just cleaning away meal trays, or just giving out medication, or just responding to someone’s cry for pain relief, or just selling mouthwash.  Every single little interaction an organisation has with its customers – its ‘touch points’ – is an opportunity for that customer to change their opinion about you – for better or worse, by the service they receive.  Some people intuitively get that, and some don’t.   When someone’s waiting for you to get their IV antibiotics started and you get that happening quickly – positive. When they’re watching you instead then have an in-depth conversation about your love life – negative.

It was Melbourne Cup day yesterday, and Fascinators were being worn on the wards. I had one administration lady notice that I was feeling a little ‘exposed’ in my gorgeous hospital-issue, back-opening gown, while having to walk through the corridor to go pay my bills.  She asked if she could get me another gown to put on, in reverse over the top of the other (a front-opening solution), and I felt like I was frocked-up for the great race!  That little bit of thoughtfulness, observation and proactivity gave me a lasting positive memory.

3.  The ability to build rapport – it’s part of good customer service.  It doesn’t take much effort to smile, keep eye contact, and look at a person as if they matter.  You might make someone’s day.

4. The importance of looking after yourself – in a world where humans are used up just like physical or financial resources, it’s critical that you make sure you take care of yourself first – especially when self-employed, but just as true for everyone else.  That’s not being selfish – it’s being smart.  If you’re not firing on all cylinders, then you can’t help others or perform at your peak.  We all know what we should be doing to be healthier and happier.  So I now have renewed commitment to keep doing the things I’ve been doing lately to improve on that.

And with discharge only a few hours away, I’ll sign off and enjoy some guilt-free, day-time TV!