Humanness

The family and I recently watched The Jungle Book together. We got out the required popcorn and snacks and settled in for a nice evening together. Within minutes, I remembered why it is one of my favorite Disney movies of all times.

Do you remember King Louie, king of the orangutans? He wanted to learn to be just like a human being and learn the secret of “man’s red flower” (fire). Humanness is not only a trait desired by overzealous orangutans, but companies that want to succeed as well.

Shortly after Jet Blue’s 10-hour weather-related tarmac delay last February, Darryl Jenkins – an airline consultant, said: “Everybody knows now that these guys are mortal.” I think a sense of mortality and other human qualities is just what every company needs.

Forgiveness is a human quality. Passion is a human quality. Affection is a human quality. The only way to receive these human qualities from your customers is to first act more human (no surprise). The more personal and human interactions that customers have with your company, the more forgiveness they are willing to show, the more passionate they will be with your cause and the more affection they will feel towards your company.

This is why blogging for some companies really makes sense. It is a chance to bear your soul and show that your company is really just a collection of people just like me who have loved ones and a passion for what they do (for a great example, see Southwest Airline’s Blog). Showing compassion, having a sense of humor and spontaneity are human qualities that will bring the human side of your business to the surface. It goes without saying (so why am I saying it?), only your employees, actual humans (did I just write that?), can bring these human qualities to your business. That is why hiring employees that show these emotions quickly and easily makes a lot of sense.

By the way, if you are keeping score at home, having an automated telephone menu system, perfunctorily spouting off your company policies and having committee approved conversations monologues with customers only docks your humanness quotient.

How human is your company?

(P.S. I should have a picture of me on my “About” page sometime this week. Not that anyone is beating down my door to put a face to my writing, but I think it will help show that I am indeed human and not a pod – if that was ever in question).

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