Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conference Take-aways


Yesterday I blogged about my Conference Downfalls, today I want to blog about my conference take-aways. I attended a 2 day conference for the Vacation Rental Management Association. I promise, I’m not going to share with you how to run a Maintenance Department for a Vacation Rental Company although that is what I do and I did learn a lot of helpful stuff.

One of the sessions I attended was for Customer Service. It was focused on how your attitude impacts your customer service. We spoke about who our customers are, in our business we have 3 main ones…we have the vacation home renter, the vacation home owner and the owner of the company. These 3 customers can not always be made happy at the same time although that is what we strive for.

I swear, I have a point that has to do with health and wellness coming up really soon.

During a lull in the presentation my mind started to wander to the blog and to what I was missing on Twitter and Facebook and in a dream like state (you know you’ve been there in conferences before) my mind started to blend what the presenter was saying with my thoughts and I pondered the following:

“Who is MY customer? Not my company’s, but mine.”

The answer, is me. I am my own customer and owner. If I have a complaint, it’s my fault, it’s up to me to fix it. No one is going to give me a refund. No one is going to credit me back the pounds that I gain when I have a bad week. And some times, I will have to make a choice that will not make me happy.

Like when I turned down the bread and butter at lunch, but then fell victim to the dessert cart. Both choices made me unhappy and happy in totally different ways. Ok, I am derailing…sorry.

So I began to apply parts of the presentation to the customer service of myself. 2 key points stuck out:

“Think about ‘can do’s’ instead of ‘can’t do’s'.” This will effect your interactions with others (or yourself) in these key ways:

1. Resiliency  - When faced with obstacles such as changes in your schedule or unsupportive people, you are more able to stick with your plan.

2. Enthusiasm and Energy – A positive attitude generates enthusiasm about what you do.

If we focus on the things we can control, on the exercises we can do, the changes we can make and stick with, instead of the things we can’t the rest will slowly fall into place.

The 2nd point that stuck out to me was the following quote:

“Today’s exceptions become tomorrows expectations.”

That quote will help me to remember that while it is alright to treat myself occasionally, today’s exception (or treat) can not become tomorrow’s expectation. Think about how easily that happens. You have a stressful day, you reach for a piece of candy, then that becomes your mind’s expectation during every stressful situation.

After this presentation and taking away as much as I did, personally and professionally, I did the only respectable thing. I bowed out of the conference early, before the last session and went for a run.


Although I was prepared for the conference, I had healthy snacks in my purse, I still made poor choices. However, I won’t let today’s exceptions become tomorrow’s expectations.

The conference is now over and I have today off from work. In honor of Earth Day, I think I am going to spend the day outside!


TJ on April 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM said...

I am a CAN DO gal... and I try my best to always remember that! :)

Seth on April 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM said...

Cool stuff! It seems that we can always take away from other things and apply it to other areas in life.

I'll be interested to see how you apply it through the blog.

Nicole @ Let Them Eat Lettuce on April 22, 2010 at 12:52 PM said...

Great post Tonye! It's totally true- what we allow ourself to get away with today is so easy to give in to- again and again. And before we know it, we are back to where we started. Great point and definitely something to think about!

Ryan Sullivan on April 22, 2010 at 1:29 PM said...

I love the idea of "being your own customer."

I would like to file a complaint! Yesterday, someone forced an oatmeal raisin cookie down my gullet. Oh, it was me? Crap! We'll get the conflict resolution team right on that. What? Your solution is for me to run it off? Damn you! Fine.

But that's the exception not today's expectation right? So here's to a new day!

Great Post!

Jess on April 22, 2010 at 1:50 PM said...

That's an amazing realization. Funny how we start applying random lessons like customer service to ourselves. It's true though :) I wrote a post today about controlling our present too. We're on the same wave length.

I love that Today's exceptions become tomorrow's expectations. That's happened so many times, but I think it could be used for good too. I ran my fastest 5K time yesterday (yesterday's exception) but now I know that I can beat that today/tomorrow/somewhere down the road. I guess it depends on how you look at it!

NICE RUN! That's mighty fast.

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