This is the only LATTE you should order from Starbucks: you should avoid any other one.
“You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you would change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it.”
Are you more coffee or latte?
How do you like your feedback to be served?
Is LATTE your cup of tea?
I see her. She looks back at me.
“The same as usual, Sir?” she says with a smile.
“Yes, one Caramel Macchiato, Please!” while using the contactless machine to pay.
“Amadou, you will be called when your drink is ready.” as she is heading to prepare my drink.
I sit waiting for my drink while scrolling on the internet.
Five minutes later. As she was handing me over my drink, I saw it.
Not again. This happens to me all the time.
I wonder why the “H” is there if it has no added value.
Yes, I know. It is Ahmadou with an “H”. It happens often, and I replied as I was taking back my new “corrected” drink.
She did not challenge me. She took back the cup and poured me some new drink in a new cup with my corrected name.
“Here you are, Ahmadou. Sorry for the inconvenience. The store is quite busy and noisy. Thank you for your patience.”, she says with a smile.
As I recall this story, I cannot remember her name. Yet I was irritated by a minor misspelling of my name.
It happens that a lot of people spell my name by omitting the “h”.
Yet I remember how gentle and caring she was.
I don’t go to Starbucks often. Yet I feel like the employees there always do their best to make our coffee experience unique.
I don’t go there for the ultra sugared Caramel Macchiato. It is more like the experience that is driving me there.
I go. I order my drink. I take out my laptop. As I am writing my articles, I have my headphones on.
Yet the surrounding busyness of the shop and the mood are not in clash with my music. On the contrary, everything works in perfect harmony to put me in a state of flow.
It will take me some years to discover the most guarded secret of Starbucks’ success.
It happens that Starbucks is serving a very special latte to their employees:
- L as Listen,
- A as Acknowledge,
- T as Take action,
- T as Thank them,
- E as Explain.
I will advise against having a latte like a Caramel Macchiato every day.
Yet I think we should all drink from the special LATTE Starbucks is serving their employees.
Yes, it might be more applicable to people in front of customers.
However, it is a great beverage to drink when we receive feedback.
Instead of getting angry at the other person, we can hit the stop button.
We imagine having that special LATTE.
How to drink the best LATTE the world has to offer?
Each time we are in a situation where the tension is rising, we must serve the other person a LATTE first.
1. LISTEN — Listening is easier said than done. As the saying goes: “We have two ears and one mouth. So we must listen at least twice before speaking.”
Our life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens to us.
We must always think twice before speaking.
Like when the toothpaste, once out of our mouth, we can hardly get the word back in the tube.
The scar of a harmful word can last more than the hieroglyphs in the Egyptian Pyramids.
We can improve our listening skills with one tip: trying first to understand and then understand.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE — This is the part where we get our heads out of the sand. Acknowledging is accepting things as they are.
Often we refuse the reality of things. Yet we all see the world through some specific glasses.
We all have glasses tainted with our education, our environment, and our experiences that add up to create our worldview.
When we refuse to acknowledge what the other person is saying, we negate their reality because we feel like we own reality.
Yet there are as many realities as beings on this planet. Often some people can have different realities within them.
Acknowledging what the other person is offering is simply saying: I hear what you have said. I see you.
It means to walk in their shoes at least for a mile. Then you can wear them off.
Just a mile, and it will make a significant change in your life.
3. TAKE ACTION — Action kills the one thing that has killed so many people before their real death.
Action kills fear. Often we fail to take action.
Yet there is a simple truth of life: easy choices, hard life, hard choices, easy life.
By taking action, we embrace that we are the ones that can save us. Unfortunately, nobody else is coming to do so.
The best superhero you are waiting for is the one looking back at you in front of the mirror.
We can also be the superhero of the person in front of us: we can have a tangible impact right there, right now, by taking action based on their feedback.
4. THANK THEM — It is overrated. Yet the sentence: “Feedback is a gift.” is the best present someone has to offer.
Yes, giving feedback takes a lot of courage. And it is one of the hardest things to do for us, humans.
On the one hand, we need to share our worldview. On the other hand, we fear offending the other person.
All of this makes it hard to thank other people for their feedback.
Saying “thank you!” is just acknowledging them as human beings. It is accepting that their reality has a place in this world.
Just thank them!
5. EXPLAIN — We all make mistakes. We hardly do them purposely to harm other people, even if there is a faction consciously doing it.
“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”, as the saying goes.
We might use shortcuts in a way to get things that we want. We might harm other people in the way.
Once we have acknowledged our role in the events, we can share the reasons behind our actions once we have thanked them.
Sharing our motives is not a get out of jail free card. We are not trying to minimize our responsibility.
Explaining our motives is just a way to share our perspective, where we are coming from.
The mistake we often make is to start with explanations.
This is the last step of the LATTE approach. Resorting to explanations at least has the benefit of seeking understanding before trying to be understood.
Now I can go back to my Caramel Macchiato.
You have been served with your LATTE.
To be consumed without Moderation!
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on Harness those 5 voices, and you will be the best author you can imagine: make sure to use at least 3 of them in each of the content you create. (Friendly link)