A businessman in Canada confessed about being involved in a very embarrassing experience. Listen to his story. “Over the weekend, I left Montreal on route 20 heading toward Quebec City, when I decided to stop at a comfort station. The first toilet stall was occupied, so I went into the second one. I was no sooner seated than I heard a voice from the next stall:
“Hi, how are you doing?”
Well, I am not the type to chat with strangers in highway comfort stations, and I really don’t know quite what possessed me, but anyway, I answered, a little embarrassed: “Not bad.”
And the stranger said: “And, what are you up to?”
Talk about your dumb questions! I was really beginning to think this was too weird! So I said: “Well, just like you I am driving east?”
Then, I heard the stranger, all upset, say: “Look, I’ll call you right back, there is some idiot in the next stall answering all the questions I am asking you. Bye!”
Have you ever said something you wish you didn’t? Have you been caught in an embarrassing situation? Have you ever cracked a joke you thought was funny that turned out to be distasteful to other people?
I surely have and I can assure you I didn’t feel very good about it.
Here are some more questions.
Have you ever offended a client?
Have you ever offended a friend or worst, someone you love dearly?
If you say you haven’t then I admire your sense of imagination and delusion.
I do training on customer service and in business terms, there is a term called service recovery. It’s when a customer complains about a product or a service and sincere efforts are done in order to rectify the error and win back the trust and confidence of the customer. I thought about this and then realized that everything is recoverable. Every misstep needs to be taken as information to be used in crafting your next attempt.
Mistakes are made all the time. But recovering from the mistakes is what distinguishes the novice from the professional. There is another word for recovery. I would like to call it reinvention.
Life is a series of these seemingly small reinventions. Every experience you have provides you with feedback. If you allow it, this feedback can help you figure out how to get what you want.
In my line of business, thousands of participants rate me all the time. They put down their scores and comments on survey sheets. In other words they are providing me with feedback. God has been gracious with me. Most of the feedback I get is good and positive. The real challenge comes when I get negative feedback. I fight the feeling of disliking it and I subdue the attempt of trying to defend myself against the negative comments.
You may not be in the training business but do you know that you are being rated as well. Suppose your boss tells you he is not happy with your performance? Suppose a customer writes your boss complaining about the poor way you handled the account? Suppose your office mates let you know that you are not welcome there?
Isn’t it true that you tend to take negative feedback personally and as a reason to stop what you are doing? You respond emotionally and break down. That’s not reinvention. That’s giving up. Take it from me. Negative feedbacks are the most important information we can get. If we don’t respond emotionally to setbacks or disinterest, then we can reinvent almost everything.
We just need to refine, polish, improve and work on our approach until it becomes second nature and that is when success comes close within our grips. Keep it up. Don’t give up. Improve…improve and improve. Head bowed down in humility asking God to give you the grace to be humble, chin held up high marching back into the work place determined to make things better. Keeping up is better than giving up. Over time you will realize that what I recommend is true. Ask me. I’ve got tons of stories to tell.