New Castle News

Healthy Living: Lori Brothers

October 17, 2013

Lori Brothers: You can contribute to cultural wellness

NEW CASTLE — Have you noticed that wherever you go, there is a retail cashier inviting you to take a phone-in survey?

I bet you never considered that it might be the link to improving the health of our culture.

I know I promote healthy living. How about the health of our culture?

Some organizations offer an enticing weekly or monthly prize drawing if you participate in the survey to report about the service you’ve experienced.

I’m beginning to realize that this is not a gimmick. There are managers, owners and corporations wanting to know what your experience was like in their establishment.

That’s good news. How many of us take the time to make that follow up phone call? 

I’m starting to make an effort to pay more attention to how I am being treated, specifically when I am being treated well. (We are all keenly aware when we are being treated poorly.)

There is an assumption when a clerk or cashier is friendly and conscientious that they are simply doing the job we expect. However, have you ever been waited on by someone who is rude or disengaged?  They are also doing their job. The difference is the rude and disengaged usually do not provide care about your experience, nor consider their job performance.

Our feedback matters to those who want us as customers, and repeat customers. Whether treated well or rudely, it is worth making that call or taking that survey to let the manager or owner know the good or the not-so-good of your experience. It’s recognition of levels of performance. The shared value of communication is the bridge between the customer and the provider that can help to create cultural wellness and thwart disease.

To those who argue that courtesy should be a natural part of human relations, I would whole-heartedly agree. You are no doubt a delightful person. You are welcome to live in my Utopia.

There is a wider range of people out there who are quick to complain, but would never take the time to acknowledge when someone has done a good job. What do they really value?

Watch for the opportunity to contribute to cultural wellness. Be willing to speak up about the good and the not-so-good. This is an invitation to bolster the health of our culture by paying more attention and give credit where credit is due, or to make a difference if performance is less than par.

These times may not be as “polite” as times past when people regarded etiquette as a social norm. I remember learning in a high school social science class about the three social elements of values, morals and mores. Values can be personal or universal, and are emotional measures of worth. Morals are motivations based on right or wrong.

Mores are the agreed-upon norms of behavior among members of the culture. Mores reflect how we agree to live together within a society, such as not cutting in line, obeying traffic laws, or being polite in public or effective on your job.

So I see this polling and surveying in our culture (other than political polling) as a growing trend toward correcting the way we all treat and value each other. We must take the step beyond appreciating the job well done and start to voice when we value the job well done.  

We don’t have the luxury of making assumptions when the world is begging for us to speak up and be clear about what we value. Acting on recognizing “the good” will give us a different outcome than complaining about what’s wrong. So make sure you credit good service.

The challenge is to step up and speak out for the positive and the good. With more “good” being shared, valued and recognized we can all shape a healthier culture.

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Healthy Living: Lori Brothers
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