A Funeral Director’s Ego

April 14, 2010
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imageGuest Post From: Patrick Fahrenkrug – Patrick has been involved in funeral service since 1988 and has been a state of Wisconsin licensed funeral director since 1994, Patrick currently serves as Community Outreach Director and Advanced Planning Consultant for Wieting Family Funeral Homes in Kiel and Chilton Wisconsin. Patrick also owns and operates Forrest Run Pet Cemetery and Cremation Service in Sherwood, WI.

Everybody has an ego. Some have very large ego?s, some small. Most of the funeral director?s I have met, or I have worked with tend to have ego?s on the large side, including myself. How can we not, when we have families telling us on a daily basis, how great we are at what we do. This is not an entirely bad thing. Some of the most successful professionals have huge ego?s. Think Donald Trump. Where it becomes a problem, is when it prohibits us from learning and trying new things. Maybe we came up with an idea at one time, and it has worked well for years, so in our eyes there is no better way. I have been fortunate to have been part of a firm that believes strongly in consistent staff development through coaching and training.

One of the things that coaching and training has taught me, is that I can do things differently, and in a way where families are going to perceive a greater sense of value. The challenge for all of us is to take the new things we?ve learned from our training and apply them on a consistent basis. It is so easy to step back into our comfort zone, and go back to doing things the old way. One way to keep the ideas fresh and consistent is to share every new technique we?ve learned and implemented with other members of the staff. This should be done on a daily or weekly basis depending on the size of your firm. The important point is to specifically set aside a time just for this. Don?t skip it if you get busy. Make a point to reschedule a time.

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There are some very talented people in the funeral profession who have made a career out of coaching and training. They understand the importance of creating value for the families we serve. I urge everyone to enlist the services of a professional consultant. You may think your firm already offers ?top notch? service. A professional consultant will be able to demonstrate to your staff, and YOURSELF new techniques and refreshing ideas that will bring increased value to your families I can think of few things more satisfying than a family saying, we?ve never seen that before, and we are so glad you suggested it. This is how we create value. It?s also how we continue to feed our ego!

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