Service is not just a smile or pleasant tone of voice. Authentic service is ethical, value based and practiced all the time. Our values may include integrity, accountability, quality, collaboration and teamwork. A value may be defined as "that which is important to someone and which affects the way a person acts." We base our behaviors daily choices, and hopefully, our strategic plans on standards and principles which arise from our personally held values. We look for this in our leaders, on our teams, and with each other. It’s surprising how often we share the same values, but never discuss them.

Try this: either use a facilitator or do it yourself. Take a few minutes and ask others on your team: “What values do you think we live by in this environment? Or what values should we live by?” If you can get some consensus on 2-3 values, you are on your way to higher levels of service. If, for example, your team chooses integrity as a top value, it becomes easier to be straight with the customer and each other. It becomes the expected norm. Shared values can provide consistency, community, and focus both internally and externally for our teams and organizations

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Marilyn Manning, CSP, CMC, the founder and CEO of The Consulting Team, LLC, and international author of seven business books, resolves difficult people problems. She specializes in interactive speeches, workshops, and consulting in the areas of Leadership, Teamwork, Conflict Mediation, Executive Coaching, Meeting Facilitation, Strategic Planning, and Communication. Over 94% of Dr. Manning’s work is repeat business. For more information about Dr. Manning and The Consulting Team, LLC go to her website at