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The benefit of having a curious mindset!

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Create Your Day - Snowy Mountains

Be curious.

How many of you have made a decision or reacted to a situation and a major factor in the outcome was based on your mood? Can you think of a time where you made a great decision, and looking back how did your mood impact the outcome? Also think of a time where you made a bad decision and your mood was a contributing factor to the final result.

Several years ago I signed a contract with a company to do some work around the house and was promised the moon and stars. Well when the work was supposed to start I wasn’t receiving the services I was promised. I called the rep multiple times and left several messages, and the last message wasn’t the most polite message. Well after three days of not getting a call back, I was now fuming. Those that know me well, I think would agree that I am a patient person and my patience ran out, and my mood changed to anger. I felt as though I was being taken advantage of and I was being ripped off. I called the corporate office and I felt as though the customer service agent was not helpful at all and it added fuel to my anger. I asked to speak to a Regional Manager and when I got a hold of the Regional Manager I let him know exactly how I felt and demanded service and was not polite about it. The Regional Manager to their credit took the verbal lashing I gave and said he would look into the situation. He mentioned the rep was a long standing employee and was shocked to hear my complaints. Well within 10 minutes the Regional Manager called me back and said the rep hasn’t called me back because the rep has been in the hospital for the past week and didn’t turn in the service request before he was rushed to the hospital.

Immediately I felt like a complete #&!%$#* (jerk), and wished I would have handled the situation much differently. I was mortified on how I behaved and learned a valuable lesson that I already knew. Be curious before accusing. Yes I should have received the service I paid for, however I should have been curious and should have handled the situation much differently. Normally I would not have reacted this way, because in the grand scheme of things in life it wasn’t all that important, but I let my emotions impact the situation. If I had been curious I am sure the conversation and outcome would have been much different and I would not have looked like an obnoxious customer.

How many times have we listened to a phone call from a patient, our external customer, and their version of the story they spun was actually much different than the reality. Their emotions impacted the way they told the story, which is generally done to exaggerate the truth to get what they want. If we are in a curious mindset in these situations it will be immensely helpful.

Furthermore, how many times have any of us accused an internal customer, your fellow employee, of doing something and come to find out your emotions led you down a path of accusing when it wasn’t true? I know I have listened to numerous calls after hearing about a situation, and come to find out your fellow employee handled the situation perfectly and the version of the story was not as it was presented.

Having a curious mindset is like having a built-in brake in our brain, which allows us to see the entire picture before jumping to conclusions, and could prevent you looking and behaving like I did. Ask curious questions to be more informed to help make a better decision. If you don’t like the answers you are getting or don’t understand the answers you are getting, re-frame the question, remain curious until you have clarity.

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