Brian Murphy is Client Services Director at Tek Experts, a global role which sees him manage an approximately 1,000-strong team which continues to grow, as well as nurture trusted relationships with clients. We spoke to him about the communication challenges he faces, both internally and externally, and how they are overcome.
Having worked in technical support for many years, I know how important effective communication is to achieving success. Without it, it’s impossible to gain the trust of your clients, customers and staff. At Tek Experts, I’ve had to tune into the nuances of global business communication.
While my previous role at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise was global in the scope, the cultures I’ve now experienced at Tek Experts are much more diverse. Ensuring each region is aligned both in terms of objectives and mindset is always at the front of my mind. It’s helped me grow as a leader, becoming more understanding and rounded.
When communicating with staff, I’ve learnt that you always have to find common ground; helping people understand why they’re doing what they’re doing is very important. Sometimes you can put a process in place and people just follow it, but if they don’t understand the thinking behind the process, it can lead to problems – for example, when they are thrown a curveball, requiring them to be flexible with the process.
I work hard to ensure that everyone on my team not only learns their job-specific process properly, but also understands why they do it, empowering them to make the best decisions for their customers.
It’s all part of how we encourage people to be proactive in their work – taking control of the issue and driving it to a resolution, with a sense of urgency. We only hire people who are curious and are confident enough to speak up for themselves and their clients.
My people skills have improved immeasurably, and they continue to develop. I’m constantly fine-tuning my approach so that the message I transmit is received and resonates as it was intended regardless of where the recipient is based in the world. Often, they are just subtle adjustments, but for cross-cultural communication they can make all the difference.
My analytical skills also get a good workout in this job. One of my strengths is getting immersed in the detail and understanding what KPIs are being met and where improvement can be made. As a result, sometimes we don’t have to wait for the client to tell us what to do – we can look at the operation and make decisions to improve it without their guidance.
I believe it is my analytical mindset that sets the foundation for transparent and trusting client relationships. As a team, we’re clear on what the client’s unique concerns are, anticipating things that are important to them and driving that change in a way that is accepted and appreciated. We can come up with a plan to solve any issues before they bubble up.
It means our communication with clients can focus on strategic matters rather than the nitty-gritty of operations – at a management level there is no value for us to report these to them. This frees them up, allowing them to expend their energies on finding ways to improve elsewhere.
It’s challenging to deal with all sorts of different people across a global organization, but one that I relish. I believe that if you want to be a great leader, you need to be adept at communicating with every type of individual. Find yourself a company that allows you to do that.