About a year ago I hired a service advisor that I believed at the time would be a great asset to my shop. He had a lot of experience, knowledgeable about the business and well-spoken. He showed all the right credentials.
Soon after being hired, I noticed something that I did not pick up in any of our three interviews; he did not smile. How was it possible I did not notice this? A few more days turned into weeks and I could see that this person’s personality, or lack of personality, did not fit the culture of my company. We had a few meetings together and I would ask him, “Is everything ok? You never smile”. He didn’t think too much of it said that everything was fine. Personally, I had my doubts.
Shortly after I hired him, an equipment rep came to see me said to me, “Joe, your new hire, you do realize he never smiles”. Well, this began to worry me. As time went on I could see that his demeanor did not go well with the other people in the shop, or with the customers. People feed off other people’s personality. When someone walks around with the look of doom and gloom, it affects the attitude of others. And it surely affects how the customers react also. It actually affects our ability to communicate and sell. I knew that if something was not done soon, it would have tragic consequences.
It also bothered me that no one in shop really liked him. I later found out that was because he did not treat people nicely and would berate the techs.
I tried all I can to help this person to change, but nothing I did could crack a smile on this guy’s face. Time went on and I hoped for the best. I soon learned that hope is never a plan for success. Soon, customers began to complain. After a while it became apparent that the negative behavior from this person was having a negative effect on the customer’s behavior. In other words, people feed off of other people’s personalities. If someone walks into a place of business and is greeted with a warm smile and a big friendly hello, it puts that person in warm and friendly frame of mind. When the opposite happens, things will go downhill and turn bad.
As usual, I waited too long to pull the trigger. I gave myself every excuse why I should keep this person, when the truth was it was also affecting my personality and my ability to remain upbeat. For the sake of everyone I finally fired him, but not after the damage he had done to my company.
The sad fact is that he will never see what his personality is doing to himself and to others around him. Why he was so unhappy remains a mystery, I hope in time he can release those demons. For me, I learned a valuable lesson. There are times that you cannot get people to change. For the greater good of everyone, stop the bleeding and fire the person. You are doing the best thing for that person, for others in your company and for yourself and your family.