Are Your Service Team Being Judgemental?

Last week Jayne and I spent a few days interstate doing a few business things… we were coaching some clients, and we also visited one of our coaches.

Yes, coaches have coaches. How else do coaches get better?

Anyway, during our stay, we stumbled across a great [whisky] bar hidden away down a narrow lane.

Each night before dinner, Jayne and I would visit this bar to enjoy an adult beverage in a relaxed atmosphere before heading off for a formal meal.

The bar was very popular. Entrance and exit of patrons was monitored to ensure the atmosphere of the bar was not affected by crowding or over-crowding.

On our final visit to this bar, on the Sunday night of the weekend, the bar was less crowded than on other evenings and so we were able to be seated at the bar, right in the centre where exotic cocktails were being created, rather than away at some side-table.

Interestingly, on this evening, the behaviour of the barman creating the cocktails could only be described as “stiff” at best.

I would have expected the barman, or any barman, to have a personality, in the Bryan Brown and Tom Cruise COCKTAIL mould. [as in the movie “Cocktail”, where the barmen were entertainers who spoke and conversed with patrons].

This barman seemed to be more engrossed in his craft than in any conversations with patrons, and although he was short with his answers and conversation with the young men seated beside me at the bar, he was even shorter with his responses to Jayne’s questions.

In fact, I definitely felt that this barman chose to answer Jayne’s questions about the cocktails he was creating in short one and two word sentences.

I chose to simply listen.

And I listened in horror…

You see, to me, this barman’s responses showed a very ageist attitude.

And I know this, because I did hear him responding in a far friendlier manner with the three young men sitting beside us at the bar.

The thing is…

When a person chooses to be judgemental, they immediately choose to offend those who they are judging.

And one of the interesting things about being ageist is that the more senior members of the population that some people choose to discriminate against, most probably have children and grandchildren the same age as those members of the population that a younger person may be hoping to impress and attract.

The problem with being judgemental is that you don’t really know who knows who, and whom.

In the dental office…

On the phones at your dental practice, do you have team members who cross the line and bully callers?

Yes, this does happen.

“He’s very busy. He won’t call you back.”

Even if the dentist told the receptionist to tell callers this, frankly, to me, it’s an unnecessary command that has no positive effects whatsoever.

If I was an employee in a dental practice, I’d find a way to be nice to every caller, no matter who they are, because you never know who that caller might know, and who that caller may refer to the practice, whether that caller was a patient of the practice or not.

If I was an employee, I’d never be so arrogant to tell a caller:

“He’s very busy. He won’t call you back.”

You’ll remember how I have previously retold the story that a finance guy shared with me…. and how a dental receptionist screamed down a phone at him and then banged the handset violently on the desk numerous times…. and the finance guy was only doing his job and was helping the dentist to finance a significant purchase…

What gave that receptionist the right to think that it was OK to behave so rudely?

A little bit too much judgementalism, if you ask me…


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