Yesterday, a cashier at my grocery store wasn’t aware of how to apply a pretty substantial seasonal coupon. At first, it was easy to see that the customer was a little surprised and upset since the cashier had missed applying the coupon on her daughter’s order just ahead of hers.
She could have gotten frustrated and unloaded on the cashier. Instead, she said they would go to the service desk and figure out the daughter’s order. Then, politely, she helped the cashier apply it to her order.
As she did this, she engaged the cashier in conversation and asked her how long she had worked there: 30 days. The customer didn’t ask this as a way of insulting her, but instead, as a way of understanding and emphasizing with her.
By the end of the transaction, both the cashier and the customer were clearly relaxed and in a good mood.
It was nice to be a bystander, watching this example of grace and understanding.
“First, seek to understand.” I think Covey wrote that.
Today, as a father walked out of my coffee shop with his son, the father told the son to return a goodbye to a family friend who had just seen them leave. The boy muttered goodbye while walking out.
“That’s not how you do that,” the father said. “You say it to their face.”
He then marched his son across the cafe to the woman who had already turned her back at the counter. Shyly, the boy had to get her attention and say goodbye.
“Can you believe he said goodbye and didn’t look you in the eye?” the dad asked.
I love when people pass on good habits.