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Everyone has a “yabut” and it will hold you back…

Pet Nonprofit Spotlight: Pet Peace of Mind is just one of the articles from Pet Care Pro Quarterly, IBPSA’s digital magazine for pet care services professionals. Read the current issue online here.

Yabuts Are Real. You Have Them.
by Stephanie Shipley, CPACO

Everyone has a yabut and it will hold you back, but do you know yours?

Yabuts are the obstacles in everyone’s personal and professional life that are a barrier to ongoing development, career advancement, and business growth. Regardless of your current position, pay grade, or market share, you have a yabut that’s holding you back. So sad, yet so very true.  Yabuts are a steadfast reality and being able to identify and overcome them will have a profound impact on your business, career, and even your personal life.

Here’s how they work…

When the leadership team of an organization has a position become available that they need to fill, they review all of the applicants via resume, interview, prior knowledge, or a combination of all three. By the end of this initial review, they have already identified that person’s yabut when their name is put onto the table for consideration.  It sounds something like this, “Sally would be a great supervisor.”  Promptly followed by her yabut: “Yeah, but she can come across harsh with the customers.” BAM, there it is! The fact that Sally is perceived as not being able to effectively communicate with customers can quickly take Sally’s name off of the promotion table and they move onto the next name and the next yabut. The goal of the leadership team is to identify the individual with the skill set that they want, and with the yabut least impactful to the business, and that can be overcome through training.

Yabuts may even surface at the first interaction.  Have you ever received an email from a potential applicant inquiring about a position within your company? You read through the email only to finish by saying, “this person has a lot of experience. Yeah, but there are so many typos in their email. If that’s the amount of care and attention they put into their first impression with us, what’s it going to be like when they email our customers?”

They come in many forms…

For external applicants, it could be the amount of experience the person has, how neat and tidy they were when they dropped of their resume, how early/late they were for the interview, how engaging they sounded on the phone, general disposition and body language when they stopped by your facility, etc.  Due to the fact that internal applicants are generally better known to us, their yabuts are a bit different and are usually based on things they have demonstrated in the workplace such as gossip, taking shortcuts, punctuality, customer interactions, ability to gain “buy-in” from colleagues, ability to work well in a team, or ability to handle stressful situations.

Even on a personal level, everyone has their yabuts and they are usually shared only when they are not around the hear them.  “Mildred seems really nice. Yeah, but she talks too much.” “Marvin is so attractive and funny. Yeah, but he has no ambition.” “Frank is my best friend. Yeah, but he’s always too busy to spend time with me.”

They need to be identified…

If you really want to advance your career, build your business, or improve your personal and professional relationships, the very first thing you need to do is take a long, hard, and critical look at yourself to identify your yabuts. If you can’t seem to find one, ask someone else ― they’ve known them for just about as long as they have known you.

Once you have identified your yabuts, it’s time to take immediate action to overcome them.  This is where getting creative and assembling a plan that will get you there becomes crucial. It might be something as simple as reading a book on leadership and then putting into practice what you’ve learned, or it may be as difficult as taking a course to get the desired effect.  Having said this, yabuts also have a tendency to stick around for a while even after you’ve made some changes. It takes the consistent demonstration of the “new you” to make the change in the way others see you.  If you have struggled with customer communications in the past, it will take more than a day/week/month of pleasant and enthusiastic interactions with customers to become the person that is known for their outstanding customer service.

The subject of yabuts is not all doom and gloom though. There are some great things about them that can really propel your career, business, and relationships forward. When you have identified your yabuts, put a plan of action against them and subsequently overcome them in the minds of those around you. This can be perceived as a significant accomplishment that demonstrates your commitment to personal improvement and growth. If you were once the “Negative Nelly” of the team but have become the leader of the pack as far as making consistent positive contributions to the work environment, it’s highly likely that you will reap the rewards.

Don’t let the yabuts get you down. Rather, recognize them and then let your yabuts guide you to greatness.

Stephanie Shipley, CPACO, is the owner of Paw & Order Inc., in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Stephanie spent 20+ years working in the hospitality/hotel industry as a Director of Operations and Director of Human Resources for both Delta Hotels and Marriott Hotels before opening her pet care facility and switching her focus to providing exceptional pet hospitality. Stephanie will be one of the speakers at the 2018 IBPSA Pet Care Services Educational Conference &Trade Show.