Progressive Conservative MHA Keith Russell was suspended from coaching minor hockey after profane outbursts during a game in Labrador City in March, and Peggy Matchim says similar instances of incivility happen everywhere.
That’s why the St. John’s woman — with partner Amy Percy — has started up Character Training and Teambuilding. Not that she’s pointing fingers — it’s the Telegram who brought up Russell. Rudeness is all around, she said: in the workplace, in our governments, in stores, in sports venues.
“You only have to listen to the radio or read the paper to hear all of these incidents that seem to be getting a lot of attention recently, and there’s a lot of incidents that don’t get so much attention,” she said. “Many of us talk about the state of customer service these days, where we really feel there’s a lack of character. And one of the things that we have found when we do customer service training is when we approach it from that angle — what is the character you’re putting out there when you interact with a customer? — you get a different response to it than when you approach it from, ‘You should do this. You should do this. The rules are this.’”
Matchim and Percy offer sessions to teach character-building and leadership to clients.
“We can see it going all kinds of places, but the things we’re really interested in are customer service,” she said. “We have been doing customer service, actually. We’ve been requested to do it a lot for employment development groups, and that has been really successful and we keep getting asked back.”
They said they hope to expand to training businesses, as well as teaching strategies to sports teams on how to build character. They’ll also be targetting professional workplaces.
“It’s one thing to make sure your staff have the skills and the information to do their jobs, but sometimes it’s the how they do their jobs and how they interact that can get people into trouble,” she said.