“When the going gets tough, the tough get jumping”

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on “When the going gets tough, the tough get jumping” 

hp-mainJumping – through hoops that is!

Jumping through hoops means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. What does jumping through hoops mean to you? Is it a positive or a negative? Do you feel like you are jumping through hoops when a co-worker shows up late, or even worse doesn’t show up at all, and you have to cover for them?
Does jumping through hoops mean “knocking people socks off” with incredible service?

  • If you are in the hospitality industry do you feel like you’re jumping through hoops if you get bombarded with customers, guests, or members during a rush?
  • If you are in the retail industry do you feel like you’re jumping through hoops if you can locate an item for a customer at another store?
  • If you are a receptionist do you feel like you are jumping through hoops when you are dealing with multiple phone calls, trying to make appointments, and directing your walk-in customers, clients, or members?
  • If you are in the middle of a project nearing your deadline and your boss wants you to drop everything to start another project does that make you feel like you are jumping through hoops?
  • How does it make you feel to jump through hoops? Positive or Negative? Do you like the challenge and the added pressure of taking on the task? Do you feel anxiety or irritation? Does it feel like a waste of time? Do you like the sense of accomplishment when it is completed?

When I asked business associates what jumping through hoops means to them, their replies included, “It means going the extra mile. Doing whatever it takes to exceed your client’s expectations. But I only want to do that if they are nice and appreciate what I am doing for them.”

“Jumping through hoops means going above and beyond the call of duty. It’s a positive when you are presented with a challenge that you can handle. It’s always personally rewarding when I can fix a problem or get to be creative coming up with a solution. It’s a negative when one of my bosses decides we need to drop everything we are doing because he has deemed it an emergency.”

“Jumping through hoops to me means a mishmash of unproductive work that feels like a waste of time. I feel like I am jumping through hoops when I have submitted my report and/or findings only to be told to redo it. There are certain individuals that feel a need to keep tweaking everything until they get it right. At some point you have to stop because you can tweak it to death. And sometime that happens. Your projected does not get completed, it gets abandoned.”

“For me the ultimate jumping through hoops is being able to take care of a major problem for a customer and have them think you are God. It’s knowing who to call, where to find what they want, and getting it as fast as possible. It is having the resources at your finger tips and that’s all in the training and ongoing communication.”

“Jumping through hoops to me means being able to maintain when I am given a crazy, impossible deadline and on top of that having my client be difficult.”
“Jumping through hoops to me means creating order out of chaos. Staying calm and being stable and steady, not reactive. It’s being able to see the big picture and the steps needed to get there. Then being able to effectively lead my team through the maze.”

Everyone I spoke with regarding their interpretation on jumping through hoops had very strong opinions. And they saw it as either very positive or very negative.
So how do you make jumping through hoops FUN? I say adopt my Mary Poppins Principle. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. If you know it is inevitable that there will be times in your job that will cause you to feel like you are jumping through hoops why not be ready and accept it. Rather than whine or complain about it say, “I love jumping through hoops!”

One associate said, “You just do what you have to do to get through it. “ He had to attend a monthly meeting that he felt was a waste of time. Everyone talked about making changes but nothing ever got accomplished at these meetings. He used to start complaining the day before the meeting about how much he disliked it. Think about that? Spending 24 hours focusing on something you are dreading. So the next month when he told me he had “the dreaded meeting” the next day my reply was, “You love that meeting! Of all the meetings you go to that is your favorite!” He cracked up laughing and from that point on once a month he would say to me, “My favorite meeting is tomorrow!” And we would laugh. That is how the Mary Poppins Principle works. If you don’t like the taste of the medicine, put some sugar in it and sweeten it up!