Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy People Deliver Great Service - UL 309 07th November 2014

Being a regular traveller on Srilankan Airlines, national carrier of Sri Lanka and several other airlines 20 -25 times a year I have come across all sorts of air hostesses. Irrespective of the promise many airlines make about their "legendary" service levels, on air it is suffice to say "they do their job" as required and nothing more. 

In almost all airlines they come in standard configuration! Very polished, very well dressed (won't call them immaculately dressed though!), walks about with air of confidence (may be arrogance), do what they are suppose to do exactly (meaning from safety demos where applicable to food and drinks rounds and duty free etc). However I've mostly found them to be very formal, talk to many first time flyers with sense of sarcasm when questioned on a basic matter such as pressing the "attend" button mistakenly, mostly with a straight face (poker face at times!). What really takes the cake is the complicated, put up accent they talk to passengers! (Probably they take pride in their complicated pronunciation that most don't understand). 

However UL 309 SIN-CMB on 7th November 2014 was different. At least for those of us at the Economy Cabin. We were serviced by two Sri Lankan Air hostesses, "Kylie" and "Ashani". They were not the most eloquent or elegant that I have come across.  But they went about their tasks with such lucidity and in a friendly manner it brought about a smile in almost all who experienced the two of them. They were genuinely enjoying their tasks and they had fun in doing it (just between the two of them). When serving food there were several occasions that they ran out of the popular food in their trolly. They were quick to replenish but the beauty was the manner in which they took the shortage, attended to the same and put a smile in the passengers face. On the face of things they did not look veterans in the industry, contrary they looked quite the opposite!

Towards the end of the flight I did walk up to the chief stewardess and paid a compliment regarding the two who served us. Surprisingly I found here to be more friendlier than the others as well. (My bad I forgot to take down here name). Even the Purser was a friendly gent.

Kudos to the UL 309 team on 07th November. Hope Srilankan will be able to infuse that sort of energy to more crew members! 

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column

Monday, February 24, 2014

Everyone should have a plan

Over the weekend I was conducting couple of sessions for professional students on "Individual Development Plan". I was amazed as to the number of people not having an individual development plan. 

Come to think of it, many people spend much more time in planning and strategising  purchasing assets such as selecting a motorbike or a car (sometimes even clothes!!!) Even a weekend trip takes lot more planning. 

Here's the thing. Imagine you want to build a house. Anyone with a proper sense knows the process starts with finding a good architect, sharing your requirement and getting the architect to draw up a plan. You would provide feedback to him, make alterations to fine-tune the plan according to your liking. Only then you think of building the house. 

Lot of people tend to take this aspect for granted when it comes to their 'lives', probably the most important plan one would ever make! Most approach this all important task in the most hap hazard and casual manner.  Some allow it the fate. Most tend to have a vague idea as to what they want to achieve of course with minimum clarity. If you ask them they'll probably say they want to be a "CEO", "a manager","a  doctor" etc. Beyond that they rarely have a plan to achieve it. 

This is absolutely disastrous. It's almost like building a house without an architecturally drawn up plan. Surely one will end up with a building. But it will never be a proper home. What amazes me most is the number of people who approach life without any proper plan. That number is a lot more than what we think. 

Even those who have drawn up a plan have drawn that up several years ago with no active monitoring and revising the plan on continuous basis. 

Here's the thing. Simply having a plan will put you with top 5% of the people in the world. But just like any corporate plan if you work on it without actively reviewing it you'll end up somewhere totally different than your intended destination. Plans should be reviewed on regular basis. At least several times a year if not on monthly basis. Just like corporate plans become irrelevant based on external environmental changes (which by the way happens all the time and much more frequently than before) personal plans too become irrelevant over time. After all who said individuals are immune to market volatility! 

Feel free to share your thoughts or feedback on this posting under the comments column