Friday, January 27, 2012

Celebrate publicly, challenge privately

The tenet "Celebrate publicly, challenge privately" speaks succinctly to the vision of what I want this blog to be.

I was reading a blog post over at about influencing people. [Interesting piece.] A quote at the bottom of the article reads, "Celebrate publicly, challenge privately". I had never heard the quote before but it struck me as salient. The context of Tim's usage of the quote was around gaining influence with authority figures but I think that it is more generally a useful concept.

This tenet speaks succinctly to the vision of what I want this blog will be. I started this blog because of a good service story. I think that it is important to publicly celebrate good service and good corporate citizens. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I don't think it is usually helpful to publicly humiliate or bash a company for specific issues. Every business has issues, the key is to give helpful criticism and encourage them to change.

What if giving pleasant, constructive feedback doesn't work? There are many stories about companies needing to be shamed into good behavior. Dave Caroll and his United Breaks Guitars song is an excellent example of this. Unfortunately, not all companies make the right decisions about customer service. With Twitter, YouTube and the many social media outlets available, the story will get out.

I have been intentionally vague about the specific businesses when criticizing bad service experiences but I do try to go back directly to give my feedback. I have likewise been intentional in my public positive feedback. I will continue to keep this soft approach where I can.

What do you think? Is "Celebrate publicly, challenge privately" the right track? Or, is shaming the right tactic?

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