Showing Not Telling

I dropped my Blackberry on a hard surface, and when I did, it fell into several pieces. I attempted to put the Blackberry back together but when I did, it would not boot.

So, I visited my closest AT&T store for help. I was greeted by a young staffer behind the check-out desk who confidentlly took the Blackberry apart, reinserted a few of its parts and informed me it would take a moment to see if it booted.  She cautioned me that if it didn’t, I would need to take my Blackberry to a T-Mobile store. Now here’s where it gets interesting…..

I ask her where the closest T-Mobile store was located. She says, “I don’t know.” An older staff (probably her supervisor) is standing at the adjacent computer terminal and overhears our exchange.

He simply says, “Let’s search,” and proceeds to do so. Now, she gets it! (Oh, I shouldn’t just say “I don’t know.” I should help the customer!) She tells him she’ll do the search and soon she finds the info I need.

Key learning point: This colleague/supervisor modeled the appropriate behavior in a supportive way. Many of us would have simply “told” her what to do. His approach was far more collegial and it got her going. I was impressed!

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