A Surprising Way to Get and Give Feedback

There’s a story about a young man calling from a restaurant pay phone. The manager of the restaurant overhears the youngster offering to cut someone’s lawn, having to reduce the price and even offering extra services. He resigns himself to thanking the lady for her time and hangs up. The manager looks over at the young man, “They said no, eh?”

Still with a smile on his face, the young man nods his head, “She said she was very happy with her service.” The restaurant manager sees an opportunity, “Well, I like your attitude. How’d you like to work for me?”

The young man says, “No thanks.”

In response to the manager’s puzzled look, he explains, “That woman on the phone was my customer. I just wanted to make sure I was doing a good enough job.”

The feedback someone gives to your face may not mean as much as what they would tell others. We need to remember this both as the customer and the provider.

Dustin Staiger is a business and marketing coach in Houston, TX. He addresses team and individual effectiveness, marketing, communications and creativity for smaller, entrepreneurial organizations as well as large enterprises.

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