“Soft on the people and hard on the problem”
If you come across someone that worked for Qatar Airways for quite some time, (we usually called seniors “fossils”, and of course not in a negative sense of the word, but as a synonym of long flying career and experience ), they will very easily recognize the lady in this photo.
Samina left Qatar Airways holding the title “MOST LOVED AND LIKED GROOMING OFFICER”! I had the pleasure to interact and work with her a lot of times and taught me very important lessons. She taught me how to be positive to others, nice, and how to build an honest and productive work culture.
With all the flying hours I have spent in the air, having such experience and knowledge from her has helped me to adapt easily and contribute towards making our work environment a place where people treat each other in a nice, respectful way while being constructive and supportive. This has made my flying experience with Qatar Airways a place that I enjoyed working at.
Let me share my subjective experience and take you on one journey back in time.
I was flying for nearly 9 months when I went for my first long vacation back home. In 2010 Qatar Airways was not flying to Macedonia 🇲🇰 yet (my home country), and also the regulations for leaving Qatar as your base were different. We were entitled to do that once our probation period of six months was over. Of course, all urgent matters were a different story, nevertheless, my vacation as pre-planned was nine months after joining Qatar Airways. And the story is the very same as many crew. I have not been home for a while and my mom cooked an 11-course meal per day 😁, so I GAINED WEIGHT 😃.
When I came back, my uniform was indeed tight. Somewhere down the line, I was hoping that on my first flight after my leave I can get away with that, but my responsible personality made me go earlier to the operation center before my Paris flight and report this to the Grooming officer. And the Grooming officer on duty was the lady in this photo. After our discussion, we both agreed that I can not operate the flight, so I WAS OFFLOADED.
To make the long story short, that issue has not affected any of my future career promotions. In one year and seven months, I was promoted to Cabin Crew in the Premium Cabin. There is something important that I have learned from that scenario:
It’s of utmost importance to do our job according to the standard operating procedures, but at the same time it is also important to be nice.”
Even on that occasion, she continued being kind, compassionate, inclusive as well as straight-up, and just so good to me and what was the matter.
Strengthening my negotiation skills as a leader, as part of my Master’s literature, I read Fisher and Ury, Getting to Yes. And I came to the point where now I completely understood her style. Fisher and Ury say: “be soft on the person and hard on the problem” and Samira was doing the very same thing at that moment. She was doing her job but was nice to me and that didn’t bother me at all. I firmly believe that you don’t have to be aggressive or nasty to get what you want at work, and in this case, it was to make me accept the reality and understand that there is no other solution available. Yet, there are people, and I am very sad to share, that even today, they act inappropriately while doing their job.
Ladies and Gentlemen, being nice is one of the most important skills in our careers and is a critical factor in all our successes.