And The Answer Is?

Thinking outside the box

Ever go to do something, get something, ask for something and the first thing you hear is no? Didn’t like it when you were a kid looking for cookies, didn’t like it when you asked someone to prom, and you sure don’t like it from your Credit Union. So why does it happen? Well, sometimes it’s the right answer; there are simply things we cannot do, but saying “no” may not be the best way to communicate that.

Freedom strives to have the mindset to always listen and take a moment to consider the request; not for our ability to do it, but for its value and potential. There are times a member requests a product or service we can’t provide, but maybe we should. They are times we are unfamiliar with a process, but maybe there’s another way. There are times we are unable to meet a need, but maybe we can. What I’m getting at is that we do our best to recognize the limitations imposed on us, and every financial institution, then find solutions for anything else.

Things like policies and procedures may be accurate for the safety and soundness of the institution and protection of the membership or they could be out of date. We may be limited because something is unknown to us or technology has changed and we need to invest the time, resources, money, etc. into making it happen if it makes sense for the membership as a whole. It’s important, therefore, to look for those occasions where, rather than immediately defaulting to a negative response, we can step back, take a breath and consider why we are here and the ultimate objective of the situation or request.

It’s not practical to think we can be all things to all people or do everything members want, but when communicating our capabilities, it’s important we put ourselves in the member’s shoes, understand what they are trying to accomplish and consider, really consider, whether the answer is no, yes or maybe. In doing so we may find that we aren’t solving just one problem or helping just one member, but we are benefiting the entire organization. Likewise, members profit from the experience by gaining a greater understanding of what we do for them and the cooperative nature that differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions. Staff and members’ ability to be open to change and consider new possibilities is critical in making Freedom something special.

Mike