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Writing It Down in Front of Customer

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  • Writing It Down in Front of Customer

    Twice today I had a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) in dealing with customers. In both cases I was standing & having a conversation, during which I promised to furnish some information in follow-up. I pulled out my note pad and wrote down what I had just promised while we were speaking. Before leaving I then reviewed quickly what I was to do and in one case what the other person was to do in follow-up.

    Both customers commented on the fact that I had written it down. My reply was something to the effect that this is important and I don't want to trust my flawed & aging memory. We chuckled over that and I was on my way.

    Afterward I realized that while I had said "this matter" was important - I had actually communicated in a non-verbal way that THEY were important. It made me think about all the times people say "I'll get back to you" when I feel it's likely they will forget that commitment once I'm out of their face.

    I do usually write things down anyhow, but from now on I'm writing it down because THE PERSON I MADE THE COMMITMENT TO is important, and in fact they are more important that the subject of the note - it is just a by-product.

  • #2
    People-Centred Actions

    Thanks for the reminder, spectecGTD. In our action-focused world it's good to remember that actions themselves should not become more important than people.

    In my line of work each action or project can help people, even save lives, so the distinction between actions and people becomes blurred. I find it's less a case of people above actions, but more that actions have value and should be completed because they can help people.

    It's been a while since I've visited these forums (It's been hiding on my someday/maybe list!), but I thought I'd pop back for some inspiration to keep going with those New Year resolutions/goals. I've certainly not been disappointed.

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    • #3
      This is a good reminder, spectecGTD - and I like also the subtext that when the agreement is with yourself (which many of mine are), it's for the same reason: because the person is important.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by spectecGTD
        Both customers commented on the fact that I had written it down. My reply was something to the effect that this is important and I don't want to trust my flawed & aging memory. We chuckled over that and I was on my way.
        I teach students and I frequently tell them that if I need to do something and its important to them, not to move away until they see me write it down. Either that or email me. Otherwise its about 50:50 that I'll remember.

        The thing is, once the next person or incident hits me, the previous one is likely gone. It like the old episode of "Married with Children" where Kelly's brain gets full and after that, each fact shoves one out.

        You joke about "flawed and aged memory" but how pathetic it is when its actually true. Be glad you are gtting in the habit now.

        Tom S.
        Last edited by Tom Shannon; 01-20-2006, 07:32 AM.

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        • #5
          It also works the other way for me. In my office, when I delegate things to other people, I get uncomfortable when they don't write things down. As a result, a couple of people now always write down things I delegate to them. Makes me more comfortable that we're all on the same page, and it helps them too.

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          • #6
            Great point

            This is such a smart point. Obvious, maybe, but only after it's pointed out!

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            • #7
              I have told people before, that if they dont see me write it down, it might not get done.

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              • #8
                Jason posted a similar incident a last year on his blog. Very instructive.

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                • #9
                  great post, SpectecGTD. Thanks for the reminder.

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