Slowing for sold in the workplace

You know that busy supermarket moment when you decide which check-out queue to join? That happened me a while back. The almost full car park that greeted me on arrival was a sure sign that there would be a lengthy wait. Still I had a list, needed the stuff and joined the fray.

Picking the check-out

The supermarket I use most has a long line of checkouts and I've noticed that the longest queues seem to be the ones nearest the exit. Further along the line, away from the exit, queues are a bit shorter so I tend to aim for one of those spots. I noticed on this visit that one of the operators was chatting to her customers as she scanned their purchases. That queue seemed to be moving fairly quickly so I joined it.

Sure enough. She smiled, talked to kids in the line and engaged their frazzled parents. Here's the thing though, she worked smoothly, organising the throughput of items and slowing from time to time to match the shoppers' bagging pace. The result was that payment and packing were completed in neck in neck time. Glad I joined that line as I crossed it to finish in no time.

So what?

Well, so many of us in busy workplaces, feel we have to work harder and faster. The Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius - Faster, Higher, Stronger could apply, couldn't it? However, the check-out operator was going for gold in a different way. She made haste slowly.

What ways could we slow down the conveyor belt of things to do in our workplaces? Pacing processes to match our customers? Finding the time to engage? It is said that regardless of what job we do, we are always negotiating, selling. Are you slowing for sold?

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