Entitlement without Enlightenment
June 11, 2010 Leave a comment
I have received my share of performance reviews but I don’t ever remember making it personal. Sure, we had some closed door screaming sessions – but it always revolved around interpretation of the job and never about personalities. Today, I had someone take feedback very personally – and that sucks.
I had written previously about the lack of accountability in small businesses. I now have a theory why: owning up to a mistake involves recognizing that you screwed something up. To acknowledge that you screwed something up means that you are not perfect. But that can never happen – because you are perfect. Ergo! You can never screw anything up so the customer is at fault!
Its like a batsman saying that he got out because the pitch was not laid properly or because the ball had a different colour – it wasn’t his fault, he played perfectly! Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Do Indians do a poor job of raising their kids? If it isn’t bad parenting, is it bad education? I’ve seen this behaviour way too many times to dismiss it as a one-off experience. I feel that there is something systemic here.
What does it take to get this into our heads: (a) we are not perfect, (b) we do mess things up, (c) messing something up is not the end of the world, (d) listen to what your customer is saying, apologize if necessary and (e) make sure you don’t do the same mistake again?