Be as good to your loved ones as you are to strangers

At the ASTD conference in Chicago recently, Colleen Barrett made a really interesting point in the session we did together. She said at Southwest, they want to make sure that their customer service is as good internally as it is externally. They believe in the Golden Rule—treating people the way you would like to be treated. One of the things we talked about is that it’s amazing how people will treat strangers or customers better than they would treat people they love or people who are coworkers.

I often tell the story about having a group of people over to your house for a party and some new neighbors are there. As they are leaving, you notice that the man has left his hat. So you grab his hat and run out to the road and catch them before they pull away. As he rolls down his window, would you say to him, “You idiot! If your head wasn’t screwed on, it would fall off!”  No! You would say, “Here’s your hat. I’m glad I caught you. So good to have you over.” You would be really polite. And yet, we hear mothers screaming at their little kids who left their lunch on the bus. “You idiot, why did you do that! If your head wasn’t screwed on, it would fall off!”

We just seem to take license with people who are close to us that we wouldn’t take with people who are less familiar with. So that’s a really interesting thing to think about. Why is there so much divorce? Why are there so many family conflicts? Because we don’t use the Golden Rule all the time. So remember—be as good to people that you love and work with as you are to others.

2 thoughts on “Be as good to your loved ones as you are to strangers

  1. Fantastic rule
    Do as you like to be done.
    I bet most of us behave in the same way.May be its up to our parents,they told us to be polite,kind and respective to others and little by little we just do respect to others however “others” include family at first and then strangers.So let us change our habits and learn to grade people into 3 :first:loved ones(family) second:freinds & people who we are concerned about Third: strangers.

  2. All the day before I thought about the article and the followings are the results:
    1-May be it’s an allarm bell in our lives now adays. So think about it and make a list as Ken Blanchard pointed in his book”Helping people win at work.”
    2-Protect your loved ones before strangers do it.
    3-learn the skill”how to verbalize our feelings to our loved ones in the way we like to be told”

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