Category Archives: Awareness

Awareness matters!

The scene
I had been asked to attend a late afternoon meeting with a client in a different part of the city to which my office is located. I decided to drive to the meeting so that I could drive home. As luck would have it, a one hour metered carpark was available immediately outside the client’s building.

Upon arrival the receptionist asked where I had parked. I informed her that I had parked in the one hour zone out the front of the building.

I was shown to the meeting room and some cool, fresh water was provided. I was informed that the person I was meeting had been held up in another meeting off-site and was on his way, possibly being 30 minutes late.

The moment that mattered

Prior to the arrival of my client, the receptionist popped her head back into the meeting room and asked whether it would be okay for her to pop downstairs to ‘feed the meter’ for me.

I had started to wonder how I was going to manage the parking situation given that a large period of my 60 minutes had been ‘chewed up’ waiting for my client to arrive. The awareness of the receptionist, Crystal, to help me was just terrific. Crystal realised that I might be starting to worry about my car and that the parking issue could end up being a problem for me should the meeting last longer than the now available 30 minutes.

To me Crystal’s actions highlight the importance of awareness and how it is directly linked to service excellence. Crystal could not control whether my client’s availability, but she was able to control her awareness to relieve a problem before it occurred.

That is exactly what awareness does. It ‘heads problems off at the pass’, before they have a chance to take effect.

What are your examples of how awareness has both enhanced service excellence and resolved a problem before it occurred?

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

How ‘aware’ are you?

Today my family and I were at the airport saying good-bye to one of my nieces who had been staying with us during the school holidays.

I was amazed at the number of times there were groups of people who were collectively blocking the various thoroughfares as we were trying to make our way through the airport. Each time we ‘excused’ ourselves to make our way through these groups of people it struck me that each individual seemed to be unaware of the impact that the group of which they were a member was causing the people around them.

This caused me to wonder about personal awareness, particularly when people are part of a larger group. In general, how aware are people of the impact of the larger group on those around them? Do they even care?

‘Awareness’ is a Servant Leadership characteristic and includes a consciousness of 360 degrees around us, much like a martial artist is aware of the full circle around them. What is your level of awareness, both individually and when you are part of a group? Is awareness a leadership characteristic that you have ever considered? What experiences of ‘awareness’ have you had that you are comfortable sharing with others?

If you have been part of a larger group and then you have become aware of the negative impact of that group upon others, what you have done about that situation? Has your awareness led to positive action?

Please share your stories.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at