Sunday, October 13, 2013

Honey Or Vinegar?

There is an old expression that says – “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  This slogan usually applies to customers when it comes to resolving issues or complaints with businesses or companies.  When a customer has some sort of negative experience with a business or company – for whatever reason, in his or her effort to get it resolved, they usually have 2 approaches they can take. 

The can kick, moan, swear, groan, scream, and threaten to try to get their desired resolution – or they can “kill the company with kindness” to try to get what they want.

So why is this slogan a focus of this blog post?  Although it pertains to business resolution, it can also apply to the principals of everyday life.  So are you the type of person that naturally emits Honey instead of Vinegar? 

For example, do you view negative setbacks or obstacles as opportunities (honey), or do you react as if you as if you've just been punched in the eye (vinegar)?  Does constructive criticism from other people make you take a second look at how you can improve (honey), or does it fuel a fire within to go on the offensive and fight back (vinegar)?  Is the very point of winning the outcome of an argument or disagreement (vinegar), more important that sorting out the facts, and drawing a best met conclusion (honey?) 

As you can see, the honey and vinegar slogan can apply to almost any areas of your life such as relationships, work, dealing with family members, interacting with your children and yes – even dealing that pizza delivery person - who deserves to be beheaded or at least a public hanging - simply because it took him or her 31 minutes instead of 30 minutes to deliver your food.

Take our business of hypnosis.  Although we have client policies and guidelines that we follow and adhere to, we are always more receptive to the honey approach.  For example, we recently had a client who came in for her hypnosis session.  After a good hour or so, she disclosed that she simply wasn’t able to go through with the session because she just didn’t feel ready.  Now, although we have a no refund and/or late cancellation policy, we gave back every penny why?  Because she was so nice and pleasant, that I could in good conscience change for her visit.  In fact, she ever persisted on paying us something for the time I did spend with her, but I refused.  Now, I could have stuck to my guns, but I am glad I made this decision, because although she had personal reservations, she was so grateful that she ended up referring 5 clients to us, simply because we waived her fee.

So as you can see, not being ready to go through with a scheduled session may not sound like a truly valid reason for waiving at least our late cancellation fee, as we did spend a great deal of time with her.  However, the fact is, she was kind, honest, and didn’t try to disguise her change of heart into some sore of service complaint just to get a refund.  Therefore, she won over our compassion to break our office policies to make an exception to make her happy.  And she in turn sent us some interested clients.  This is a honey highway!  

From our example above, you can see that both honey and vinegar can also be contagious to some degree.  When you treat someone or a situation with a degree of respect, dignity, and compassion, it tends to come back around full circle.  However, if you are quick start off on the offensive and put down, criticize, or complain with hurtful vengeance, you are bond to be exposed to equal retaliation or at least, resistance.

So in closing, the moral of this blog post is that you get out of life, what you put into it.  That’s why it important to self-evaluate your reaction status when it comes to the a speed bump in the road of life.  There will always be challenging and trying times, and in most cases, they way we handle it, is what will actually determine the outcome.  This is not to say that there aren’t times in life when you require a little bit of vinegar to get your point across.  However, any good cook knows that you can always add more – but you can’t take it away.  Adding too much vinegar in the beginning could spoil the meal.

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