Monday, January 28, 2008

Demanding Perfection Is Always A Bad Judgement

One of my reasons for wanting to combine, compare and contrast what I learn from other weblogs is that to my mind it provides a fuller picture. My impression of Seth Godin is that if you go beyond looking at one post at a time he has a very balanced view of life which sometimes doesn't come through when he is focusing on one topic. His approach incorporates the Aristotelean notion of "Middle state," see Golden mean (philosophy) or what Buddhist's would call a 'middle path'.

Seth's Blog 1/18/08 dealt with the problem with perfect.

When was the last time you excitedly told someone about Fedex? They're perfect. The only time we notice them is when they screw up.

As the quality of things go up, and competition increases, it's so easy to sell people on perfect. But perfect rarely leads to great word of mouth, merely because expectations are so hard to meet.

I think it's more helpful to focus on texture, on interpersonal interaction, on interesting. Interesting is attainable, and interesting is remarkable. Interesting is fresh every day and interesting leads to word of mouth.

I think our Fedex delivery person is interesting. I like her. I talk to her. And yes, it changes my decision about who to ship with.

Seth's Blog on 1/24/08 then gives us some insight on Bad judgment.

Which in many ways is just the other side of the coin. Our annoyance at people who don't realize that they can't expect perfection from us.
All day, you run into people with bad judgment. That critic who didn't like your last movie, or the prospect who refuses to buy your product even though it's better. Or the angry customer who is bitter, vindictive, loud and out to cost you your job... even though they must know it's not your fault. Or perhaps it's the employee who refuses to exert a little extra energy even though it would help all of you.

It's enough to make you scream. Or give up.

Here's a thought: Maybe it's not bad judgment.

Try this on: "If I believed what you believe, I'd probably be acting exactly the same way you are right now." (Better thought than said, probably).

Once we realize that it's not a matter of judgment, but a matter of belief, everything changes.

That's because marketers are charged with changing what people believe. If I can help change what you believe, I bet I can change your actions as well. And respecting your judgment is a great place to start.

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