06 Oct Hi, How are you?
How often do you visit the local shop and get asked at the checkout counter “Hi, how are you”?
I get asked that often, I obviously visit the local shop too much and should really start managing my finances better, but I digress. Up until yesterday, my response had always been “I’m good thank you, how are you”? Even on the days when I wasn’t good, or just downright bad. Even with a basket full of cold remedies, painkillers, decongestants, it was the same response “I’m good thanks, how are you”? I’m such a liar!
Yesterday, I took a different approach when faced with the routine question of “Hi, how are you”? I replied, “Terrible. I’m having an awful day and it’s left me feeling extremely down and full of self-pity”.
At this point, there was a moment between myself and the checkout assistance, a fleeting moment where we made eye contact for the first time ever. 2 seconds of complete silence. Then the assistance simply said “That’s €39.94 please”.
After paying for my shopping I left the shop feeling worse than when I entered, bearing in mind I was already having a bad day. A single thought was now running around in my head… What is the point of asking a question if you have no idea of what to do with the response?
If you are going to ask a question, at least expect a response and have an idea of what you will do with that information. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s with pointless questions. Ask questions for a reason, value the response then react. Engage, ask more questions, offer improvement or change something. Do something meaningful!
Imagine how much happier I would have been, if the initial question was truly asked for a purpose.
“Hi, how are you”?
“Terrible. I’m having an awful day and it’s left me feeling extremely down and full of self-pity”
“I’m upset to hear that, what’s wrong”?
“I’ve had a migraine all day, and I just want to go home to bed”
“I noticed that you didn’t purchase any migraine medication, did you know that we stock that? Would you like an associate to go get that from the aisle for you, I think it’s actually on offer this week”?
“Thank you so much, I would appreciate that”
It’s not always about asking the right question, it’s about valuing the information offered back to you and reacting to it. The best question in the world is pointless if you have no idea what to do with the response.