Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peer Pressure

Today, I journeyed to our branch in Ronkonkoma for something called a Peer Meeting to review something called Best Practices with something called the GAIN model. It was a welcome change of pace and very informative!

The day lead off with a conference call with our Northeast Branch Distribution Market Executive, Nick Oaks. In it, they thanked us for our continued efforts, and recognized one of our New York City branches for their performance during a visit by our CEO. It was refreshing to hear a branches efforts recognized individually. The call also detailed what's coming for the first quarter of 2010. It was nice to be able to hear Mr. Oaks speak, he seems like a very personable guy who genuinely cares about the people who keep this company running smoothly.

The session was lead by Relationship Bankers from a variety of branches in our region, some of whom came in during their scheduled vacations to share with the rest of us what has worked for them with the new GAIN training. It was a forum in which we could share our successes (successful "pen in eye" surgeries) and air our grievances (like the lack of a hot tub and/or massage therapist in our branch).

It had the feeling of an informal brainstorming session, and the fact that it was people who walk in our shoes everyday giving the talk really sent it home for me. These aren't people who haven't worked in a branch for years (or in some cases, ever). These are the people fighting the same fight I fight every day, and to hear that not only do they sometimes have the same problems, but that they are able to craft solutions and share them, it really gave me a boost.

I have been doing pretty well with the GAIN myself, though I still haven't been close to making my numbers, and the only low point of the day was a few people insisting that no matter how slow or small our branch is, so long as we correctly profile, we will make our points. I have never been told that I am doing my profiling incorrectly, and I have been embracing the GAIN training whole heartedly, yet I have not once made my points. Is it my breath? My cologne? My incoherent mumbling and twitching? For them to insist it must be that I am doing my profiling incorrectly was irksome, but I took a lot of tools away from this meeting that will enhance what I've already been doing. It's like learning a new grip on the bat; maybe you already knew how to hit a baseball, but hooking your lower pinky around the knob of the bat handle could add another few MPH to your swing (true, by the way; it makes you turn your wrists over during the swing).
I look forward to the next Peer Meeting, and especially to the free breakfast that they provided (us fat guys loves our free meals).

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