I was struck by an experience I had while dining with my husband at Max Amore in Glastonbury on our way home.
My husband ordered a pork chop, and it arrived thin and overdone, not juicy at all. After some debate he decided to tell the waitress that he was not satisfied.
Instead of being defensive, she immediately agreed with him and took it back to replace. Then, while the new one was cooking the manager came over and told my husband that he had been right, the chop was overdone and not the way he wanted to serve things in his restaurant. He offered to heat up my ravioli or give me some new ones so I would be eating hot food with my husband. I said it wasn’t necessary but he did it anyway. He stayed for a pleasant discussion about changes in the restaurant business.
When the new chop arrived it was delicious, thick, tender and succulent. We left that restaurant feeling happy and sure to return.
This experience brought to mind two areas of our teaching, the part about admitting your mistakes and the part about honoring our clients’ voices. The staff could have been defensive, or even questioned our right to speak up. I have had that experience too in other restaurants. And then what would have happened? We would have been angry and left that restaurant determined never to return and also told all our friends.
But instead, by graciously and readily admitting their mistake the restaurant with little expense and effort earned loyal customers, who felt better about their own judgment as well as about the restaurant.
Could we, within our treatment programs, be this gracious and giving with our clients? What would happen if we did?
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