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Chapter 4 The Team Approach
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Navy Customer Service Manual
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Increasing Your Knowledge
sharing  your  experience, teammate  feel  inferior. but you have not made your PROVIDING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE Each individual exerts some influence on all other members of the team. For example, the member who always  has  a  “Good  morning”  for  everyone  influences the  team  to  have  a  positive  attitude.  However,  the member  who  always  gripes  and  complains  has  the opposite  effect. Each  member  not  only  influences  the  mood  of  the team, but also its work habits. Work habits, in turn, influence  the  team’s  effectiveness  in  providing  service to the customer. The first of the following examples shows  how  a  negative  influence  can  affect  teamwork; the second example shows how it can affect customer service: A new member reports for duty at your contact point, and you are the first person the member meets. After introductions, you feel it is your duty to give the new member some “survival training.” You begin by saying, “Senior Petty Officer Door is hard to work for, especially when she has it in for you. PO Brush won’t bother you; he’s so lazy it’s an effort for him just to breathe. SN Frost is an eager beaver, but he is handy to have  around—you  can  con  him  into  almost  anything.” Giving  these  opinions  places  an  unfair  burden  on  the new  member.  Regardless  of  whether  these  statements were truth or opinion, they will have influenced the new member’s  attitude  toward  the  team. You are standing at the counter when a customer walks in, and you ask, “May I help you?” The customer then presents a problem that involves several actions. Since  you  are  not  sure  how  to  proceed,  you  ask  a coworker.  The  coworker  only  gives  you  a  negative shake of the head and advice to “ask the chief.” That doesn’t help much, so you turn back to the customer, muttering to yourself, “The last time I asked the chief for help, he told me to look it up myself—he didn’t have time.” Then to the customer, you say, “Why don’t you tell the chief your problem; he’ll be able to take care of it, and he won’t get mad at you.” You have placed the customer  in  an  uncomfortable  position.  Your  attitude and negative remarks have influenced the customer to feel reluctant to talk with the chief. If the customer chooses not to talk with the chief, the customer will not receive the needed service. RECOGNIZING THE VALUE OF EACH JOB Most contact points have many jobs to perform. Although team members must be able to perform all jobs at the contact point, they usually perform only one job at a time. Although some jobs may seem less important than  others,  EACH  job  is  EQUALLY  important. Whether the job is receiving leave requests or preparing leave authorizations, team members must recognize the value of each job at the contact point. To recognize the value of your job, you need to know its purpose in the overall mission of the contact point. Ask questions. Find out how the responsibilities of your job fit into the overall responsibilities of the contact point. You will then begin to understand the value of your job and how your performance contributes to  team  effort. 4-2

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