If You See Something Say Something
I am sure all of us have heard the PSA announcement as we are walking through the airport or on television. “If you See something Say something.” Well I think you can take that same statement and carry it through many segments of your personal or business life.
At work I think it is vital that we have a fun hard working hard playing atmosphere. The more fun the better…as long as it does not get in the way of productivity. At the end of the day we are all brought together for the common success of the group. Having fun tends to raise the brain waves and gets people thinking. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. (yes, another cliché). But sometimes things can get out of hand. If you are there, say something before it goes too far. Because hurt feelings can kill an organization.
In my first B2B selling position I learned to deliver presentations to small audiences. We only had a few “rules” but they were important. We had to stand while making any presentation, we had to encourage the client to speak more than we did, and we had to shop in their store if it was at all possible before the presentation. After each presentation we had another rule, we had to discuss two things 1-what did we do right and 2-what did we do wrong. The whole point of this was to proactively think during the presentation about seeing something and saying something. How often do you see a co-worker doing something wrong (not necessarily on purpose) and just let it go? I promise, if you bring it up in a one-on-one atmosphere your co-worker will appreciate your effort.
Now you don’t have to be smug or above your co-worker when you do this. Simply tell them what you noticed and perhaps ask them to point out to you any mistakes they see you making.
I was at a restaurant last Saturday for brunch. I ordered a burger (don’t tell my cardiologist) and I ordered it rare with no cheese. When it came to our table it had cheese so I asked them to take it back and bring it without the cheese. They brought it back (the cheese had simply been taken off and not all of that) to the table for me. I cut it in half and it was not even close to medium. Well, rather than have any more delays, I had the burger. It was not bad, just not what I order. The waitress came around and asked how our meal was. I showed her the burger and mentioned it was not rare. She offered to get me a new one and I told her it was not necessary, but I just thought she should know. She thanked me and all was well. The idea here is that if I did not tell her than she could not fix the problem.
I am not talking about honesty issues here; those are a no brainer. I am talking about having enough compassion for your fellow human being to politely point out problems when you see them. My family thinks I am strange because I tidy up displays when I walk through a store (I know I am not the only one that does this). I am not certain why I do it and I don’t do it all of the time, but I think it helps me get a better sense of what the store is all about. But if you see something out of whack in a store - say something. You don’t have to call the home office, just say something to the manager.
And, if you see something good going on, especially make sure that you say something. Rewarding good behavior is an imperative to success. If you see a store clerk helping out a senior, tell him how nice that was and tell him that was one of the reasons you shop there.
When you see a police officer helping someone (which is where they spend most of their efforts), take a moment and thank them for their efforts. If you see something, say something.
If you see something say something, YOU will be a happier person for it. You will quickly learn how to say something without malice in your heart, just for the simple reward of making another person better. It is our responsibility to make the world a better place than when we got here. Tikkun Olam is a concept that says acts of kindness will make the world a better place. Well what could be kinder than helping someone get better by pointing out what you saw.
Take a moment each day for the next 7 days when you see something to say something. It won’t hurt and it may just help. 7 times in 7 days, is that too big of an ask. When you see something (and you will), say something. It could be at work, at home, while you are out shopping, visiting a museum this could be a movement. When you see something say something. If all 4,450 people that I am LinkedIn with do this for 7 days we will have more than 30,000 acts to make the world a better place. We will be better employees, better family members, and better member of the community. If you see something say something for 7 days and watch the world get better, kinder, and smarter. #seesomethingsaysomething
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Rich Hollander is a retail expert with over 40 years in the industry.