When I’m having a service challenge with someone (as a customer)
and I start to get annoyed, I’ll sometimes ask them that question (as kindly as possible).
It tends to be a helpful reminder for both of us.
Because … there’s a story behind every interaction and every experience we have.
Our customers (patients, students, donors, supporters) will occasionally share that story with their friends. Our colleagues will occasionally share that story with other colleagues. And our managers will occasionally share that story with other managers (and job references).
And sometimes that story will be told over the dinner table at home (something important to remember for those who lead people … spouses, significant others, and family can be important influencers to how engaged and caring someone is at work … and whether they stay or look for something better).
Unfortunately, the story itself … it’s really never completely in our control. Perception, past experiences, added perceptions, and thoughts from others can all have an impact on the story.
But we can influence the story. We can better the chances of making it a story we want told … a good story.
We just need to wake up (to Smile & Move) and remember that our work is to make good things happen for other people. It’s not about protecting policies or rules or ourselves when we’re in service mode. It’s about helping everyone enjoy more of their day.
One more quick, inspiring thought below…
At the 32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors (2009), Jon Stewart described Bruce Springsteen with…
“Whenever I see Bruce Springsteen do anything, he empties the tank… every time. And the beautiful thing about this man is he empties that tank for his family, he empties that tank for his art, he empties that tank for his audience, and he empties it for his country. And we, on the receiving end of that beautiful gift are ourselves rejuvenated, if not redeemed.”
That “empties the tank … every time” is what gets me.
Most of us don’t get the opportunity to empty the tank in such a high-profile way as Springsteen, but we can work to empty the tank and be rock stars in our own worlds. (A better story, right?)