The intense vulnerability of those asking for help.

2 11 2015

“All art is an intensely vulnerable gesture, and it is made with no small amounts of risk, and fear.  So, I have plenty of sympathy for self-defense mechanisms, especially among artists.” ~Steven Erikson

I explain to all new employees that our customers may be doing one of the bravest things in their lives when they call us for help.  They’re calling a stranger, and asking for help with their finances.  When a client picks up the phone to ask, we must treat them as we’d want any of our loved ones to be treated… with respect, dignity and earnestness.

The same can be said for your employees who come to you, leader, with an idea, or something that’s been bothering them.  They’re being incredibly brave, and are also “intensely vulnerable” when they do this, or to ask you to change something about your leadership.  Understand the position from which they’re coming.  They can very easily say nothing, and let things continue to go wrong, but they don’t.  Treat their request with the same respect and earnestness that you would for our customers, and our team members will be much more likely to do the same when dealing with customers.

Speaking of self-defense…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




One response

2 11 2015
Allie Vered

One of the messages that kept coming through loud and clear from the 20+ clients I interviewed last week was how we treated them with respect, understanding and compassion. They seemed to be expecting something else. I heard “there was no judgment” and “where else can you find just plain help with no self interest in this world”?

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