Service technicians know the important business skills of slowing down, limiting data, and abandoning formal methods to find better answers. While their approach contradicts some business schooling, these business skills are critical to success for professionals of all types. Here are four important business skills that you won’t pick up in business school.
1. Being at Ease in the Presence of Uncertainty
Some people believe that hard data is the gold standard for making decisions. However, in an unclear market, an overreliance on facts and statistics might be distracting.
For example, you can never predict how many major projects will be completed in a given year. There are some large fish out there, such as hospitals and apartment complexes, that may require hundreds of service technicians.
However, no amount of research can predict when they will hire. Furthermore, you have no way of knowing how many competitors will enter the market or how this will affect profits.
Seasoned service technicians have a good sense of how uncertain circumstances will turn out. They are at ease with the ambiguity of their sector. Therefore, they don’t require complicated software or KPIs to gain insight.
Those who have worked in the industry for a long time take a bottom-up approach. They break down the industry into a few important factors and use that knowledge to forecast the company’s growth.
They can calculate how many 40-hour-per-week technicians are needed. In addition, they can give a good estimate of how much income to expect. Further, they know the marketing costs to attract new consumers and deliver additional services based on this information.
This goes to show that a top-down, high-level spreadsheet is not always the most efficient approach to run a company. It not only requires significant time and effort, but it also doesn’t yield any more information than the bottom-up technique.
2. Recognizing When To Think Quickly
Business school may teach critical business skills like problem-solving. However, it does not teach when to think quickly and when to think slowly in dealing with challenges.
According to service personnel, it all boils down to urgency. Think quickly to address the most pressing symptoms of an issue, then take your time to ascertain a long-term solution.
Fast thinking is also useful in everyday situations. When an apartment building’s HVAC system fails, it’s possible that only one chiller is affected. Because the system has numerous chillers, a technician can run air through the working chillers while repairing the broken one.
In this approach, the option to reroute the air solves the cooling problem immediately. At the same time, the technician has time to consider preventative maintenance, repairs, and other ways to improve the system.
Catastrophic failures necessitate quick thinking in all professions. Therefore, before moving on to long-term solutions, we must learn to prioritize our most pressing challenges.
In the information era, people expect rapid answers, and if they don’t get them, they become frustrated or give up. This impatience is everywhere in business school.
If an account is failing, we bravely go in and try to save it. If it’s too much bother, we cut our losses and look for a new account. In this atmosphere, immediate solutions are prized above patient processes.
In service technology, however, this is not the case.
From sunrise until sunset, technicians could be on a 150-degree rooftop troubleshooting a dozen moving parts on an HVAC unit. They may even take days to fix the unit. If they aren’t thorough, patient, or cautious, they may be back on the roof next week.
Patience is a significant asset in every company function because solving the same problem twice is costly. Furthermore, staff builds a sense of satisfaction from taking their time to optimize. This is much better than sweating bullets and cutting corners and contributes to positive business culture.
While many people become frustrated if they don’t receive prompt answers, technicians become frustrated if they don’t slow down. Their patience enables them to avert problems and perform services under duress. In addition, it ensures that their solutions are profitable and satisfying.
Trade professions have a reputation for being straightforward, “square peg in a round hole” jobs. However, they also foster more innovation than the average MBA. Many business students are competent at thinking outside the box.
However, the more proficient technicians demonstrate next-level inventiveness. This is because the obvious solutions are rarely the most successful. Sometimes, the quickest answers necessitate the most imaginative thinking.
Simply put, you might find more efficient and intelligent solutions by approaching challenges with the goal of saving time.
Business School Does Not Provide All of the Solutions
Service technicians can teach some important business skills and principles you may not learn in a traditional business school setting. It’s important to nurture inventiveness, patience, and easiness with ambiguity. These abilities can help anyone to improve their business.
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thank you!