How do you determine priorities in scheduling your time?
I took a time-management course in which I learned to prioritize all tasks on A, B, or C lists. I always try to tackle the A list first. In every working situation, co-workers have always complimented me on how well I manage my time. I enjoy the social atmosphere of the office, but I make it a point not to waste much time on chitchat with colleagues. I’ve also learned that the average office worker spends about an hour a day handling e-mail. I make it a point not to deal with my e-mail more than once or twice a day, and I filter my messages into folders so I can prioritize the way I deal with them.
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
It takes the ability to meet every customer with a smile, and a solution “ whatever it takes. Though I’ve worked in a number of industries, I have always been a salesperson and a consistent top producer. Let me elaborate. Early in my career, I sold memberships at a family fitness center. An angry man once came to me demanding a refund. He began yelling at the membership workers and complaining about the swimming program, saying that it was a rip-off. Though the other workers were flustered, I calmly asked the man what was wrong. He that his son had been in swimming lessons for four weeks and was still afraid of the water. Instead of instantly giving him the refund, I offered to personally arrange for private swim lessons for his son for a week, explaining to him that sometimes children react differently to each instructor’s teaching techniques. He finally agreed to accept without the refund. After a week of private lessons, his son was no longer afraid of the water, and he could swim nearly a lap of the pool. At the end of the lessons, not only did the father sign his child up for another paid session of private lessons, but he also bought a family membership and apologized to me for his behavior the week before.
What is the most significant contribution you made to the organization during a past job?
My organization was undergoing an accreditation process. I developed two detailed accreditation self-evaluation reports that documented how the organization met accreditation standards. These self-evaluations served as basis for accreditation site visits and enabled all eligible programs to be accredited in record time.