- “This won’t hurt”; it hurts, or
- “This won’t take long”; it takes longer than you think it should, or
- “I expect this meeting to run short”; the meeting takes up the entire scheduled time or longer?
Why does this happen? Maybe because the promiser doesn’t want to worry us. Or maybe the promise is hopeful thinking. Or maybe by putting their good intention into the universe, they jinx us?! 🙂 Maybe, but probably not. The lesson here is not to set expectations when we are not 99.7% sure of the outcome.
Organizations exhibit the same kind of behaviors all the time, but for an entirely different reason.
A customer service 800-line hold message may say something like “your call is important to us” (it isn’t), or “we strive to make shopping with us a positive experience” (they don’t), or “we want to make sure you are happy” (but not if it’s going to cost them money).
Why does this happen? Likely there is a disconnect between people or departments. Marketing writes positive copy, but management sets penny-pinching policies. Perhaps the lesson here is to refrain from imposing policies that will make the staff interfacing with members squirm. Or align departments around the same goals. And spend some time using the association’s services as a member to understand where all these little disconnects are happening.
- Are measuring real engagement
- Associations may now have access to previously hidden data
- Is it possible to turn drudgery into joy?