Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Missed Opportunities

We make mistakes. We miss out. We misinterpret.

When a mistake is made, please consider saying "Please forgive me for XYZ" rather than "I'm sorry" so the apology is about the other person and not you first.

When we miss an invitation or an email, that is a form of error, too.  You may want to offer "Please forgive me for not responding, as that was my mistake for missing XYZ" rather than "I'm sorry", or "I'm so swamped" or "I'm so busy", so the acknowledgment and/or apology is about the other person and not you.

When we overreact, read a text or message in an off mood and reply as such, you'll likely show sincerity and humility by offering "Please forgive me for my reaction to XYZ, as I realize my error in overreacting", or "Please forgive me for my reply to you, as I was fair in my interpretation". This is about owning your action.

Errors will occur, mistakes will present themselves. Misinterpretations happen. Take the situation to heart, face it, and share your response post-reaction to mend the ways and move forward!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Word Manners Matter

"Correction does much, but encouragement does more." 
~  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles.
(1749 - 1832)

Word choice is key.  Messaging is important.  Conveying a thought with sincerity is riveting.  Because of this, it is nearly impossible to believe that in an average eight-stop day, one will hear thank you once and you're welcome .25 times.  Yes, based on my own personal experience (and I am pretty consistently a smiling, grateful, positive customer), those are the statistics. 
Is it that I am being ignored?  Not necessarily, rather language and communication have sadly been minimized in many cases to "there you go" or "have a nice day" at the close of a transaction and no response or a nearly lifeless "no problem" or "no worries" when a person thanks another.
It will serve us all well to consider what we are implying when we chose to direct someone with "have a nice day" or "here you go" after such person has engaged in a service or the purchase of a product.  The person who says those things has subtly, or after reading this you may think 'not-so-subtly', decided that his or her idea is more important than appreciation.  I haven't yet met a person who expressed an interest in being told something to do/take over a simple thank you.  Based on that, whether you work in the food service industry, provide hand crafted items, speak to inspire/train others, or are the CEO, do take the time to smile and show respectful appreciation with a "thank you".  In the vein of efficiency (if nothing else), it actually takes less time to say "thank you" than it even does to muster "here you go" or "have a nice day".  Please do not misinterpret my suggestion as being opposed to nice days, rather this is a recognition of the ability you have to thank someone and how much more value it offers about the transaction and/or experience than something to come in the future (their day).
Similarly, many of us have minimized what does follow as a response to a "thank you" or "thanks" from "you're welcome" to a nod, nothing or very commonly, "no problem".  While I am not clear on where or how it came to be that the concept of thanking someone indicated there was ever a problem came to be, responding with "no problem" implies without stating that there is, or may have been, a problem.  The same holds true for "no worries", so please resist the temptation to fall back on that tired expression, too.

Thank you!