Little dogs who want to play ball
Over the weekend, I threw the ball for a friend’s dog . . . I threw two balls for two dogs – one many times and one once.
We threw the first ball for the cooperative dog and then a second for the other dog. He picked up the ball, raced around and refused to give it back. He wants to play ball but can’t grasp the essential idea.
The other dog had fun. We threw the ball. She fetched it and brought it back. And so it went on until we were tired. Then we took her ball away and waited patiently for the old boy to realize the game is over and to drop his too.
That’s how we dealt with the old dog. We’ve stopped trying to teach him to play ball. We just gave him a spare one and let him think he was part of the game.
Life is great when you have a great supply chain
In real life, are we so patient?
I used to say that we need a magic list of essential people : our plumber, our electrician, our mechanic, our hairdresser. There are usually about 10 people who we depend upon more than we realize. We can probably survive one of them being unreliable. If more than one is unreliable, life becomes a hassle.
Web 2.0 is full of inexperienced suppliers
With web2.0, we have many conversations with many people and we interact with people who have no idea of what the people they serve want. They seem blissfully unaware of their own narcissism and muddle. Indeed they seem to regard their own narcissism as social status. Some even take the view that they click away from services that they don’t like and you should too.
They think they are the energetic little dog racing around. Actually they are the old fellow who won’t give back the ball. Sadly, they are going to play alone.
How do we help a youngster who isn’t up to the to-and-fro of Web2.0?
All my instincts are to help a young person. I feel bad at giving them a ball and letting them waste their time. The trouble is that if they are engrossed in their narcissism, there is not a lot we can do.
How do they learn to answer the questions that the customer is trying to ask? When do they learn that we aren’t interested in the answers they know? When do they have the epiphany and realize we aren’t even interested in the answers to the questions we ask?
We want the answer to the question we are trying to ask. As experts in their field (or so they claim), they need to educate us.
When we throw them the ball, they must bring it back so we can throw it to them again. They must help us play our part in their game. We won’t have a game without some effort on their part. Pretending to play doesn’t quite do it.
Our moral obligation to the young
Of course, when I am their supplier, and I include being a boss or teacher in the category of supplier, it is my job to understand the question they are trying to ask. It is fatal to answer the one asked because in their inexperience they may have left out a detail essential to understanding the situation.
When someone has a question, it is my job to ask more questions to understand their situation. It is through my questions, that they learn what to look for and an orderly way to approach the same issue in the future.
Indeed, once I have highlighted the important features of the situation, it is very likely, they will be see the way forward themselves. Even if they are still overwhelmed, they will implement more confidently knowing what salient features they should be observing and knowing that I am there for them.
The foolishness of putting young people on the front line
Why oh why do we put inexperienced people on to dealing with the public? It is so daft.
I suppose I cannot give up on them. It is immoral to give up on the young. But they cannot be my preferred supplier either.
Preferred suppliers answer the questions I should ask
My essential suppliers must know their business. And that means knowing the questions I need to ask.
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