Service Orientation: Anticipating, Recognizing, and Meeting Other’s Needs

Who is your role model when it comes to serving the needs of others?  Do you have anyone on your team who is exemplary in their service to clients and members of your Corporate Family®? If you’re struggling to identify someone, let us introduce you to Lillian.

Lillian happens to be the customer service representative for a family-owned chain of Ford dealerships in southern California.  As one might expect of someone in her position, Lillian greets her customers with a smile and makes them feel welcome.  She’s professional in her interactions with others, and her attention to detail is exceptional.  But what astounded the LEADon® team was her service to her colleagues and customers when she wasn’t at work.  Indeed, when Lillian became ill one day and had to go to the hospital, she texted colleagues to update them on her status and to instruct them on how her customers’ needs should be met during her absence.  Talk about going the extra mile!

If Lillian took the Developing Emotional Competency Questionnaire® (DECQ®), there’s no doubt she would score extremely high in the EQ characteristic of Service Orientation.  In LEADon® terminology, Service Orientation is anticipating, recognizing, and meeting other’s needs.  This is an important skill for anyone in customer service, but if you think about it, wouldn’t it be great if people in your life, personally and professionally, exceled in this vital EQ attribute too?  Wouldn’t you also like to set the standard for service in your sphere of influence?

The great news is that everyone can increase their ability to anticipate, recognize, and meet the needs of others because Service Orientation, like all twenty-five EQ characteristics, can be improved upon. Unlike IQ, EQ is malleable—you simply need to identify your EQ capabilities and then implement specific strategies to address any areas of weakness.

While it’s fairly obvious that exceptional customer service can set businesses apart from their competition (for instance, see R.I. Abram’s December 2016 article “10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric” at, there are other important reasons to focus on an EQ characteristic like Service Orientation.  As Dr. Gleb Tsipursky points out in his July 2016 Psychology Today article, “Studies indicate that opportunities to serve others, whether in civic, private, or professional settings, as well as charitable giving, result in a stronger sense of purpose and meaning in life, leading to better mental and physical well-being (for more specifics,  read “Is Serving Others the Key to Meaning and Purpose?” at

Who wouldn’t want to have a better sense of physical and mental well-being?  And wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone in your Corporate Family® had stronger feelings about their purpose and meaning in life?  If you’d like to jump start this Service Orientation improvement process, here are a few recommendations for you:

  1.  Take the DECQ®.  This thirty-minute online assessment will provide participants with a complete report of strengths and weaknesses in all twenty-five EQ characteristics, including Service Orientation (the DECQ® can be accessed at
  2. Each of the twenty-five EQ characteristics has corresponding online courses at LEADon University® that provide specific strategies for addressing areas that need improvement.  For instance, LEADing with a Culture of Appreciation® and LEADing Your Corporate Family® will assist you and your team in improving your Service Orientation (visit for more information).
  3. Read Chapter Seven of The Leading Edge:  9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership (Wilke & Wilke, 2010).   Not only is the concept of a Culture of Appreciation explained in detail, but there are also tips on how you and your team can “Read and Relate” to one another in healthier and productive ways.

Service Orientation is essential for any organization’s success in today’s business climate.  People are seeking companies that excel in customer service.  Employees have a better sense of well-being when they work in an environment that appreciates them.  And leaders can’t help but notice the difference, in productivity and profits, when everyone in their Corporate Family® is striving to anticipate, recognize, and meet the needs of others.

If the team at LEADon® can assist you with this or any other leadership development need, please contact us at 858.592.0700 or  We’re ready to serve!