Those Critical First and Last Impressions

If I were to visit your place of business right now, never having been there before, what would I see?

Let’s imagine a purely physical-plant encounter, where I don’t interact with you or anyone else on your staff at first; is your place of business going to welcome me warmly, intrigue me, and succeed in making me eager to do business with you?

Or will I wonder if you really want me there at all?

I was on O‘ahu this past week, preaching Aloha and Ho‘okipa as I am likely to do, and I had a friend tell me about a new sign he saw up in a local eating establishment. He was very empathetic to the business owner, gracious in guessing about all the customers who may have forced the owner’s hand with taking such a drastic measure.

Sorry, but I still didn’t buy it. I was so incredulous that such a sign would be posted, I had to visit the restaurant and see it for myself:

This is just wrong

This is wrong on so many levels.

I can guess why this was done, however I am appalled that this is the solution. Surely we are better than this.

Well, we can say mahalo to this business owner for giving us a great coaching opportunity” (you posted this on both entrance walls, and signed it, so I assume you are okay with me helping you publish it):

  1. Share this picture with your staff and talk about it: Tear it apart line by line. What are the better solutions that could replace this rude and lazy tactic?
  2. Then discuss the first and last impressions that you are giving at your place of business: What are they like? How can you improve them?

And a bit of Alaka‘i self-reflection: If you are a manager, are you expected to enforce rules like this? If so, why are you still working there?

~ Originally published on Say “Alaka‘i” ~
Those Critical First and Last Impressions