Responding with Agility

I always feel like one of the traits that helps me be successful in my work at Room & Board is the ability to be agile. For instance, our customers are wonderful, but sometimes you may be working with someone who is indecisive, or who suddenly changes their mind on what they want. Rather than be frustrated (which is natural when you have invested a good amount of time into a portfolio or order) I find it easier to ask more questions and listen to find out what is initiating the change in direction. Is it something the customer is worried about that I can address their concerns and make them feel confident about the original decision? Great, that’s easy! Did they realize that something in their plan won’t work after all due to colors, spatial limitations, or budget? Then I will take a look at how I can help them find a new solution that will meet their needs. Even in difficult situations, at the end of the day, I still want their experience with Room & Board to be positive. Keeping that in mind makes it easier to navigate any challenges.

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Another example was last week, when we discovered that an item we needed for the showroom had arrived to our Distribution Center in the wrong finish. Since the bookcase it was replacing had sold, we didn’t want to hold onto that piece a week longer and delay that customer’s delivery. After a moment of, “Oh no! What do we do now?” we ended up bringing the Elton Shelf into the showroom in the incorrect finish (walnut–see picture on left). This week, we changed it out for the correct finish (cherry–see picture on right) and the room setting is complete! We worked with what we had, the showroom journey was kept intact, and probably no one would ever even notice the difference if I didn’t point it out. Best of all, we weren’t stressed out by a simple mistake because we chose not to be.

Things happen. There are always going to be challenges to deal with. I always like to remember that I get to choose how I’m going to respond to a situation, and it is easier to be agile.