Own Up and Do Something

In my last post I mentioned that my family and I recently returned from a brief vacation in Kelowna, BC. My wife’s friend of over 20 years got married there and as fate would have it, the couple could not have picked a more beautiful location and day to share their vows. Being that the bride is my wife’s best friend, my wife was heavily involved in discussing, planning, idea bouncing (if that’s a thing), and basically assisting in any way possible so that the time leading up to the big day went smoothly. My wife was perfect for the job: she is organized, thoughtful and has a fine attention to detail. Needless to say our family’s vacation was planned 6 months prior with consideration for travel and accommodations. For the first 4 nights we stayed at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast on a quiet golf course where we enjoyed extravagant breakfasts on the patio overlooking the 3rd hole. The large majority of our time these first 3 days surrounded the wedding so a B&B was the perfect choice.

After the wedding, our plan was to enjoy a mini vacation and spend 3 more days away enjoying the sun and scenery of Kelowna. After the 4th night we packed up and moved to a condo we rented for the remainder of the trip. We were well aware of the drive we would incur whenever we left the condo, but we planned to spend the bulk of our time lying around the facility’s pool and relaxing in the air conditioned condo. That was the idea anyway.

We unpacked in our new location only to discover that the air conditioning did not work. Despite our efforts to adjust the thermostat, we were getting no results. Admittedly I understand that I may come across as a whiner, but that’s not the point…I promise I will get to that. We called the owners of the condo and left a message describing the issue in hopes they could rectify it for us.

I received a call back that evening from the condo owner instructing me to go visit the property manager and see if he can come look at the air conditioning. I thought “Okay, I’m only two floors above. I can do that.” So I did. Turns out he is only available until 4:30 pm on weekdays. So I returned the owner’s call to inform them of my findings. Their suggestion? “Go see him in the morning and let us know when he looks at it.”

I don’t want to bore you to death (and make an already long story even longer) but I ended up doing a significant amount of running around ON MY VACATION.

Thankfully we were offered a significant rebate (after asking, mind you) and were supplied with a fan in order to cool off. But it took way too long to get there. But why?

And now, as promised, THE POINT: when something is wrong, own up! If you own the “problem” or it falls within your realm of responsibility, admit it and TAKE ACTION!

For example, the washer and dryer in my wife and my rental property were having some issues, but I didn’t pawn off the responsibility to our tenants. It was our issue, so we dealt with it. It would be logical that because their air conditioning wasn’t working, I should have merely needed to place the call and wash my hands until the situation was rectified.

I find it frustrating that too often people readily point the finger, shift responsibility or blame others. Why can’t we own up? Why do we have such a hard time with acceptance? Believe me I’m not perfect. I make mistakes (lots I’m told, ha ha). But I own up to them: I take corrective action and I learn. I also have a great amount of respect for people who do the same.

I believe one of the greatest attributes of a sales person (or regular person, for that matter) is humility. Owning up to a problem and taking action speak volumes to someone’s character. And it’s a shame it seems to become harder and harder to find.

Perhaps I am the only one who notices this, or perhaps I inconveniently find myself in these types of situations.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Own Up and Do Something

  1. Great post Chris. Taking ownership of a problem or a mistake is so important in the service recovery process. I’m a big believer in two words .. I’m sorry. Be sorry for the mistake, be sorry for the inconvenience, be sorry someone’s disappointed, be sorry expectations weren’t met and then got on with solving the problem. It really doesn’t matter whose fault it is, just apologize and fix it! Sadly, a lot of people instead point fingers and assign blame.

  2. Reblogged this on Sales, Life and Leadership and commented:

    I can’t believe it has been a year since I posted “Own Up and Do Something”, but events of late have reminded me how accountability is a rare trait. It’s easy to point the finger, but it takes a special person to own up and make a difference.

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