This client commissioned my services to prepare an Express of Interest (EOI) – Order of Merit for acting opportunities at APS5 level within an APS Government department. She was successful in gaining an interview and the feedback she received from the selection panel regarding her written application – in particular the EOI – was very positive; they advised that it was very impressive, one of the best, and ranked in the top five. The EOI stipulated a two (2) page limit and required the addressing of the standard five (5) criteria based on the Integrated Leadership System (ILS) plus an additional criterion – Exemplifies Great Service. Following are full excerpts from two of the criteria developed for this EOI application.

Exemplifies Great Service…

The roles held throughout my career have focused on customer service and delivering beyond expected outcomes. In my previous role as Acting Team Coach, I dealt with a call from a customer (doctor) who was annoyed with an operator who had handled her call. The doctor felt the attitude of the operator was non-professional and was not listening to or acknowledging her request. In handling this situation, I actively listened and documented all the details as relayed by the doctor and the time she made the call. I apologised on behalf of the operator and confirmed I would investigate further and provide her with updates throughout the process. My investigation revealed that no call was made at the time she stipulated or within that timeframe; therefore, I extended the time frame to include the doctor’s call and conducted another search which unfortunately did not produce any results. The doctor was unhappy that the call trace produced no results. I explained that as their phone was a PABX, I needed all the 12 telephone numbers and took the initiative and offered to liaise with their IT person (as her time was precious), in order to obtain the numbers and trace the call. This strategy proved successful in locating the operator whereupon I provided constructive feedback regarding the quality of the call made and in consultation with her team coach, decided on the provision of extra training sessions. I contacted the customer and advised her of the measures that were put in place to ensure this would not occur again. She was satisfied with what was achieved and the resolution. In terms of the operator, negative feedback from customers was not received from that point forward.

Cultivates Productive Working Relationships…

In the role of Acting Team Coach, I identified a Service Officer had made numerous errors; her error count was increasing week-on-week and she was dismissive and defensive regarding this issue. This staff member had a long tenure in the department; however she was known to have a very negative attitude when dealing with constructive feedback. To commence the process of establishing a relationship and facilitating a change in attitude (in turn, focusing on how to reverse the trend in the increase in errors), I facilitated a one-on-one coaching and feedback session to determine whether she had any issues with tasks, staff members or the department; to identify and discuss the errors; and to follow up with clear communication on the measures that needed to be undertaken moving forward. Initially, she demonstrated a negative, non-cooperative and defensive attitude and was not willing to accept that she had made errors. I took the approach by asking her of any issues she had and I demonstrated empathy and understanding in this regard by listening and acknowledging. Also, I used the strategy in highlighting and praising her strengths and showed how she could utilise these whilst undertaking tasks which would help in reducing errors. I also prepared and presented reference material on specific procedures and guided her on where and how to reference these resources to obtain this information. As the process moved forward, she became increasingly more animated, interested and involved, and commenced asking questions. On completion of the session, she thanked me and advised that she had not been aware of where to access information until now. From this point forward, her error count was maintained at a minimal level; moreover, when she needed advice, she sought me out directly.

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Annie Cerone