Friday, 13 April 2007

Bring your humanity to work

I'm loving this new office. And my mum loves it, too! (Always important)

I brought her in yesterday before taking her grocery shopping. Somewhere between breakfast cereal and coffee, an announcement came over the speakers.

It was something about free paring knives. Fantastic offer, I'm sure, but delivered in a flat monotone. It was almost comical. Hell, it was actually a real hoot!

"Attention shoppers, this is a special announcement. Any Foodtown customer over the age of twenty one can receive a high quality paring knife by coming to the stand covered in red beside aisle 18. Please come now."

As language goes, it was clear and unambiguous, but it didn't make me feel good. It made me feel slightly patronised, and not really like getting a free knife.

Sometimes we approach our work in a deadpan, flat way. It's just transactional. That was the tone of this man's voice. There was no hint of the human being that (may have) lay behind the voice.

This morning I heard Anna Farmery interview Dr Ellen Weber about many things, including Two-Footed Questions. In a nutshell, a two-footed question tackles content (eg. what constitutes good customer service) and the person (eg. and how can you improve your service to your customers?).

It was a great reminder to bring my humanity to work today, and to make my business one that helps others do the same!

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