Do you truly want to be here?

November 15th, 2012

It’s a question we ask all the time, though we may not know we’re asking it. We ask this question because we’re drawn to people who want to be here, and averse to people who would rather be somewhere else.

For instance, here in the Northwest there are two kinds of coffee shops. The first is staffed with people who don’t appear to want to be there. The person at the counter responds to your coffee order as if you’ve interrupted him to ask if he could tie your shoe laces for you.

The second kind of coffee shop is infested by alchemists who delight in your enjoyment of their products, service, and experience. Where do they want to be? Right here, right now, making coffee they believe could, in some small way, change your life. Every interaction for them is an opportunity to infect others with their passion for coffee. They know that not everyone will catch the bug, but those that do will return.

We’re instinctively drawn to people who are present and engaged. They want to be there. Which is why we should be mindful that the people we serve (students, clients, co-workers, and customers) ask this question of us: “Does she really want to be here?”

What’s fascinating is how we answer this question for people we serve. They study our facial expressions, attitudes, responses, and a host of other subtle cues. Research on this topic makes it clear that these cues don’t lie. They speak the truth about whether we want to here or not. We can all tell the truth, even without asking.

Tags: , ,