The easy part and the hard part

What’s the easy part and the hard part of your job?

For the guitarist on stage, the easy part is to play the song that she has spent several hours practicing. The hard part is to have a conversation with her audience while she is doing it. The hard part is to go from being a musician to a performer.

For the footballer, the easy part is to hold the ball to his feet and dribble to secure its possession. The hard part is to take a bird’s eye view of the football field,Ā understand the position of his team-mates and his opponents and play a pass into a region that is favourable for his team.

For the hotel receptionist, the easy part is to make bookings, identify guests on the system and check them in. The hard part is to make a human connection with his guests each time they pass through the desk. The hard part is to make his guests feel at home.

For the flight attendant, the easy part is to go through the safety procedure and serve refreshments to everybody on-board. The easy part is to follow the operating manual. The hard part is to make each guest on-board the flight feel welcome. The hard part is to make them feel like they aren’t faceless components in that system.

The easy parts of most jobs are the ones that you would typically find on the job description. As professionals, we ought learn to do those parts unconsciously so that all our conscious effort can be directed towards the hard parts of looking people in the eye and having a conversation with them. As employers, we ought to try and make the easy part effortless so that our employees can focus all their attention on the hard parts.

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