Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Measuring Kindness

I recently had an interesting conversation with a couple of managers about customer service issues.

The question arose of whether a person who lacks character, kindness, and the inclination to treat people decently can be trained to deal with customers; in short, if those qualities aren't present, can they be poured in?

No magic answers immediately emerged but the discussion also sparked consideration of how seldom kindness is tested for in the applicant screening process. To be sure, there are hypothetical questions regarding how various job-related incidents should be handled, but those scenarios can be a better measurement of judgment than of kindness.

Those little intangibles such as kindness, courage, and creativity are, of course, not so little in the long run. Their importance can be obscured by the high brush of job descriptions and formal credentials.

They deserve more attention.

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