Monday, July 2, 2012

Stop Giving People the Finger

Yep, you've done it. You've given people the finger but I don't mean that one.

If you've read Michael Hyatt's book, Platform, or listened to his recent podcast, you should recognize the phrase, "The How of Wow". I love his use of the lobby experience to illustrate how some companies create the “Wow” experience and others come just short of asking you to leave. There's a company local to me that has actually removed the receptionist completely from their lobby. When you enter the lobby, there's a sign on the wall next to a phone that reads, "If you need assistance, use the phone and the extension list."

Listening to Michael paint a picture of the “Wow” experience, I was reminded of something we teach the Host Team at church: Don’t give people the finger. 

When do we give people the finger? We typically do this when someone asks, “How do I get to the (fill-in-the-blank)?” My guess is nine times out of ten, the person answering the question immediately raises their arm and extends the pointer finger and begins reciting directions and landmarks. Responding in this manner in essence says, “You are bothering me and the quicker I can give you an answer, the quicker I can get back to what I was doing.”

What’s the alternative? That’s easy. Don’t tell them how to get to their desired destination, take them there. And while you are walking, ask questions. Someone once defined charisma as the desire to learn more about others than have them learn more about you. When you do this you set yourself and your organization apart from the status quo.

Who do you think people will remember more: the person or company who pointed in a direction and bellowed out a list of turns and landmarks or the person or company who took the time to walk with them and showed value by asking questions?

Have you ever had someone take you to a destination when they could have “given you the finger?” How did it make you feel?

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