Synergy hosted a Service Coordinator and Dispatch Forum on March 20-22nd at the Hotel Derek in Houston for 40 members. The two-day session focused on stress management, managing expectations, and working with different personalities.

Guest speaker Lisa Withers (ProActive Consulting) kicked off the meeting with her workshop on influence and self-awareness for self-development. “Influence builds positive working relationships daily,” said Withers. “It’s the ability to effect ideas and the interpersonal behaviors we use that have a positive impact on others.”

Throughout the morning the members broke into small groups for different exercises that reinforced different influence principles. During one of the exercises participants had to role play as scientists who needed the same crop. Each person had to use their influence to try to get what they needed. Through the exercise the attendees learned the difference between influence and manipulation.

“It was very helpful in understanding effective communication and how our behavior and decision making influences others,” said Jessica Smith (Dowling Corporation).

In the afternoon, members were given their results of a DiSC assessment that was taken prior to coming to Houston. Withers helped attendees identify their personal style, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and explained how to recognize the style of others.

“It was very insightful and will help me try to think more on how I will interact with not only customers and coworkers, but all people I meet moving forward,” said Gage Freeman (Midwest Mechanical).

The first day ended with a conversation on how to deal with stress and stay positive.

Tuesday started with small group discussions on client expectations. Members shared the most important things clients are demanding, what’s changed over time, and the top things that upset clients.

Jim Bartolotta (Synergy managing partner) shared a list of the eight things all successful service coordinators and dispatchers do, which included the following: gathering information, clarifying expectations, expressing confidence, assessing all options, thinking ‘What would I expect as a customer?’, making a plan, exerting your influence, and showing you care.

The last exercise of the session was a group scheduling challenge. Each table was given a list of technicians and clients and were asked to come up with a scheduling plan for the following day. After they got their plan together, Bartolotta threw a curve ball at each table, like one of the technicians who was dispatched got turned away because the client is requesting someone who is vaccinated, and each table had to explain how they would handle the disruption.

“It was very interactive,” said Kara Majors (North Mechanical). “The group as a whole was very engaging and informative.”

The session ended with each attendee writing down their action plan of what they want to implement and goals they will accomplish when they return home. “I got so many takeaways from this meeting,” said Juli Hickey (Vital Mechanical Service). “I am looking forward to applying this in my work life.”