This is podcast episode number 26 with some thoughts about the winter holidays, and how our interactions with friends, family, and even strangers can have a direct impact on how future generations communicate and behave in business.
‘Tis the season for frantically paced shopping, wild package wrapping sessions, bountiful baking marathons, holiday parties, and fabulous family meals. Besides being consumed with the year-end and regular work activities at our jobs, we have many tasks on our to-do lists for the holidays. The added pressure we place on ourselves to create the perfect holiday for our families and friends can make for some pretty testy customers and clients at this time of year. It can also make for some stressed-out service providers, retailers and vendors. When this happens, it’s a customer experience nightmare waiting to happen.
As I’ve been standing in line at the cash registers in my favorite stores or navigating my way around the various websites I frequent at this time of year, I’ve been observing how we are treating each other. As the owner of a mystery shopping company, it’s just natural for me to move into evaluation mode when I am out there. Some of the experiences are fantastic, while others could definitely use improvement. I know you are experiencing this, too.
The thought occurred to me that we have an opportunity as we gather together as family and friends for our holiday parties and meals, and as we connect to share our traditions.
As adults, we have the ability to influence the future generations of shoppers, store clerks, delivery personnel, call center and help desk representatives, cashiers, and anyone else who becomes a part of our future workforce and the consuming public.
You see, the children in our families are listening and watching, especially at this time of year. Here is where the opportunity lies. You may think they’re distracted with the fancy wrapping paper or the latest electronic gadget they made be playing with, but children have this marvelous ability to absorb everything that is happening in their environment, and sometimes even the things that are going on beyond their immediate environment.
The words you use, your tone of voice, body language, how you respect the homes of your friends and relatives when you visit, the things you say about others, in their presence and after their backs are turned – all of these behaviors and habits are creating the foundation for our children as they learn how to communicate and treat others. Our children need strong communication and behavioral skills to navigate in a world that can be challenging.
As you shop, visit, feast, and celebrate, consider setting a good example for the children in your life, and provide them with the tools and skills they will need to be better business professionals and better consumers. If a world full of peace and compassion is your wish for this holiday season, let’s begin with how we behave in the presence of our children.