Know Your Objective and You Will Perform Better

I had an interesting on-line encounter a few months ago when I submitted a support question to a help forum for a particular social network. I do not even remember what the exact question was that I asked, other than it had to do with using a feature on the site that I was having trouble with. What I do remember, is that a moderator on the site wrote several paragraphs in his reply chastising me and basically calling me a fool for posting a question on a public forum with a non-conforming photo as my profile picture. For reference, it is a business networking site and I (like many others) use my business’ logo rather than a personal photo in my profile.

I laughed it off and have even used it as an example of poor customer service in several speeches since then. I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish by answering me in that manner, but it certainly didn’t enhance the way I feel about the site or the helpfulness of their moderators. I liken it to taking your car in for an oil change and the manager telling you in a loud voice (in front of all of the other customers) that your choice of seat covers don’t match, are offensive, and that he would be embarrassed to be seen driving your car, when all you came in for was a simple oil change. What are the chances you will be rushing back there for your next oil change?

To achieve peak performance in any field, it is vital to know what your purpose or objective is. If you don’t know why you are doing something, you will never figure out how to do it optimally. A proper objective is one that is within your control, such as being cordial when providing customer service or executing your game plan when playing a sport. An example of improper objectives would be ones like make the customer happy or win the game which are not under your control. In the case of an on-line site support forum, I would assume the purpose of having it is to support members, so they will feel more comfortable and use the site more. I fail to see how haranguing anyone in a condescending way will make them more comfortable or want to use the site more.

I suspect the moderator I came across had a different objective, along the lines of looking authoritative and/or boosting his profile in front of his forum audience. If his intentions had been pure, a much more effective approach would have been to answer my question and then mention he noticed my profile picture was non-conforming and suggest that I change it.

Regardless of whether it is in the business world, sports world or in raising a family, when you lose sight of your objective and it becomes about filling a void inside of you, everyone loses. As Jawaharal Nehru said: “Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles.”


You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc




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