Did you know that the Chinese symbol for crisis is the same as for opportunity? If something happens in your chimney sweep or hearth business try to look for opportunity in the situation.
Your lead chimney sweep quits without notice. Crisis or opportunity? At first it is a crisis but only because there is no solution. In the process of coming up with the best solution many things happen: You may be reintroduced to the field; Another chimney sweep moves into the position who proves to be even better than the lead chimney sweep; You know you have to have a contingency plan in place and perhaps you start to understand the frustration that led to the lead chimney sweeps departure. As you seek the solution these many things start to make the whole picture more visible to you.
It’s 5:00 on a Friday night and your new chimney sweep dusts a customer’s house. It just so happens this customer works for the local newspaper and writes editorial columns. Crisis or opportunity? At first it seems like a crisis: 5:00 on a Friday night – who will you get to clean it?; White carpet and a light colored brick fireplace facing; A person who has the capability to blast your company for miles around. Your new chimney sweep, who shows a lot of promise, is expecting a major chewing out and is ready to quit. To treat this as an opportunity you need to look for ways to put a positive spin on it. Get the best cleaning company out to clean his home, leaving it cleaner than before the dusting. Talk to the homeowner about why it’s so important to have a professional clean the chimney instead of trying to treat it as a “do-it-yourself” project (in which this happens a great majority of the time). In this case, if a professional messes up, your house can get TLC treatment. Explain why this is a fluke and show them the pricey chimney cleaning equipment that you use to sweep the chimney. Show this new sweep how to turn lemons into lemonade. Reinforce to the new chimney sweep that this can and does happen, rarely, but even to experienced sweeps. This is your chance to show this employee how you stand behind him and reinforces his loyalty to you.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can turn a crisis into an opportunity. It all depends on how you look at it. This may mean taking a short walk away from the office. It might mean getting in your car, driving to a remote area where no one can hear what you really want to say about the situation. Often, the best option is to “step away” from the situation and think of what you would tell your best friend if the same situation happened to them. Whatever it takes, handle it coolly and with confidence and it becomes an opportunity.