Business Principles and Parenting – Same Rules Apply

16 04 2010

I attended THE BEST training session I have ever attended. The customer service training course was developed by the authors of “Who’s Your Gladys: How To Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer into your Biggest Fan,” Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest. Marilyn facilitated the session. She is a truly gifted consultant and trainer.

Early in the process of contracting and development of the training, I discovered (through Lori Jo) that Marilyn is also an expert in parenting. Marilyn used many parenting stories as examples of techniques used to improve communication and listening skills to improve customer service.  It was a natural fit, especially since so many of our staff are parents.

At one point during her presentation, she displayed a picture of her son and his friends (looking very menacing) followed by a picture of two sweet babies (her twin nieces). She reminded the group that deep down we are those two adorable babies…and as humans we all start there. We were all innocent with the whole world ahead of us.  My brain exploded!!!

Why did my brain explode? Well…because the night before my daughter was trying to explain something to me and I couldn’t grasp the point of her story. Based on what she said, it sounded as if she spent some time in the “baby room” playing with the little ones. She said, “Mommy! I was a baby when I was born.” I think I grunted or something in return. “Mommy! I didn’t smile then either.”  I think she was trying to tell me that it is OK that the babies don’t smile.  They will someday.  So profound for a three-year-old!

Marilyn taught me so much this week, and not only how to improve my own customer service skills.  She taught me how to be a better leader, and better mommy, and (more importantly) more about myself to become a better person.  Thanks Marilyn!

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