Apple has built one of the most profitable businesses in the world based on just one premise- being “user friendly.” They have become so successful that every tech, web, cloud-based and software company has had to modify, adjust, and adapt how their products work in order to keep up or even stay in business. The reality of tech today is if you are not extremely user friendly, then don’t even bother to put out a product.
The challenge for the rest of us is because apple and other tech has become so ubiquitous to our daily lives, we now expect everything we do tech or non-tech to be just as user friendly. To prove this statement ask yourself how much you enjoy going to the post office, secretary of state, DMV, the doctor’s office, the hospital, health insurance, registering for classes at a college or university and just about any state or federal agency you need to interact with?
It seems that almost all of these are designed to be just the opposite of user friendly and more about creating the “path of most resistance.” Think about your frustration level when you are forced into a not so user-friendly situation. How do you react, how do you feel about that event? I would also venture to say that there are times when you take out that frustration on the person designated to represent that particular entity, which if you really think about isn’t rational. This person has been put in an impossible scenario, to make sense out of a system or process that makes no sense. Imagine if that was your day, every day.
Now that I’ve gotten you into a state of total frustration, I want you to think about yourself in the workplace. Ask yourself the million-dollar question. Am I user friendly? If you said yes then I would ask you why you feel that way? If you said no well … How’s that working for you?
The reality is that in your role with the organization you are typically asked to engage with all types of individuals. External customers, internal support, your team if you are in a leadership role, your peers that don’t report to you, your boss and others in senior leadership roles. I like to say you manage up, down and sideways. Most everyone I’ve coached is extremely good at managing in one of those 3 directions, pretty good at another one, and struggles with at least one of them.
Here’s where I would ask you about your personal level of user-friendliness. If you had to engage with yourself on a regular basis, would you enjoy those interactions? What is the Brand you have created for yourself internally and externally? Would you be sold on your personal brand?
Would your boss, your team and your peers describe your brand user friendly? Are you easy to engage with, and always looking for solutions instead of focusing on problems? Do you consistently bring positive energy into your environment or is there a storm cloud hanging over you that everyone prefers to avoid if possible? Are you the person that people will respond to immediately when you need assistance, not out of fear but because you are such a joy to interact with? When your caller id shows up on someone’s phone do they smile with excitement, or do they recoil and become emotionally hijacked because you tap so much of their energy?
This week I would ask you to think about your own version of user-friendly. Start by thinking about the people you enjoy engaging with both internally and externally. Now ask yourself if you are demonstrating those same qualities.
Put quite simply, are you user friendly? With your boss, your peers, your team, your customers?
If so, how? If not, why not?
We are no longer just competing with our business rivals when it comes to our jobs, we are all now completing with our favorite technology companies. Until you are as user friendly as your smart phone, or your favorite app… well you still have some work to do.
Cheers to your own brand of user-friendly
One quarter turn at a time.
Thoughts for the week:
Hard work is often the easy work that you did not do at the proper time. -Bernard Meltzer
What comes easy won’t last, and what lasts won’t come easy. -Unknown
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. -Tim Notke
All things are difficult before they are easy. –Thomas Fuller
Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
Looking forward to our next connection