Tag Archives: service

Perception

serviceA very curious thing happened at a networking function the other evening, which relates to the title of this post.

Food had been prepared and the caterer was busy pouring drinks for the attendees, so as a committee member, I volunteered to help with the serving of the food.

Armed with platter and serviettes, I started to wander around the room, lending a helping hand.  Approaching a couple of groups of people, food was offered and I attempted to start a conversation. Quizzical looks….food was selected and conversation stopped…..This happened a couple of times and then I realized….. I was being perceived as wait staff and the expected behaviour is that wait staff don’t engage in conversation with attendees at functions!

waitstaffAs an observer of behaviour, I found this mildly amusing and decided to test by going around without a platter of food. This time I was able to engage in several conversations!

Reflecting on the experience, I began to wonder about the subconscious expectation we have about people in different roles and to use a biblical phrase “about having a servant’s heart” and how it can be applied in business.  It’s about seeing that a task needs to be done and stepping up to do it with no strings attached.

But it is also about perception… there have been reality TV shows based on just that…. where the CEO dresses casually or a little bit scruffily and wanders around his or her business to observe what is going on. Many “action” movies have the villains move about in the guise of waitstaff…. they are “invisible” as they serve.

In your daily life, have you thought about your subconscious responses to people who       serve you? We all expect good service when out for a coffee or a meal, but consider the energetic exchange when you expand your awareness to include the person serving and I am sure that it will be reciprocated.