Owing Up

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THERE is always a value and a heartwarming element to situations where humility and respect surfaces, rather than witnessing ego prevailing upon a conversation. This is the essence of inter-personal relations which is built not only on trust but on the degree of courage to be honest about what has fully transpired.

Last week, I took some time to follow-up some important matters on documentation with a marketing company.  Three years ago, while getting on board on the payments, I was asked to issue bank cheque to cover the payment.  It turned out that it was not properly endorsed by the staff.  Fast forward, I was informed that I had two unpaid months because of a stale cheque.  The information did not come from the company itself but from the bank.

How hard would it be to provide information through email, when the system is working?  How difficult it is to directly apologize and own up to these lapses?   One would say that this could be a communication issue and of mediocre customer service. I would rather see it as a behavior-based issue in an organization devoid of accountability and full of entitlement knowing that no matter what, customers will have to pay and bear the brunt of their inefficiency.

This is the kind of organizational behavior which looks for ways to cover up any situation by refusing to acknowledge any lapses and moving on through the day by day operation as if anything it prefers to do would not have any implication and impact on the customers.

There is a kind of exchange where the mode of just moving on past the inconvenience that it caused, forgetting what transpired and habitually doing the same thing over and over again becomes a norm. It is precisely this track which makes objects out of customers. It stems from the entitled mindset of, we make money out of your willingness to play in a mediocre system.

This is, however, the same thing that we also do towards others at work and in our personal relations.  Whenever we refuse to acknowledge and respect other people’s point of views and insist on the version of our own truth, we convey the message:  Your views do not matter.  Those issues are all in your mind.  I am always right and I am better than you or anyone else.  It dehumanizes.

It took one staff who was cut above the rest to owe up to the failings of the team. By then, I realized the stark difference on individuals who were raised well to be able to sincerely give and receive an apology, and ask, how can I make it up?  Email comments to roledan@gmail.com

 

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