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Persons, Products, and How We Discuss Them

February 13th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

We thank the person. We comment on the product. And we let everyone know that is what we do here.

Persons accomplish the work in endeavors. Persons use tools, sometimes they are really cool and expensive ones, but persons ultimately accomplish the work. The outcome of the work is a product (sometimes we call the product a “service”).

So, we have persons and products. How do we discuss them? What do we say to the persons?

I believe we can judge a product. I can hold a pencil in my hand. I can feel it, smell it, feel how it leaves marks on surfaces, see those marks, and sometimes taste the pencil. I can set the criteria for the pencil—how it feels in my hand is more or less important than anything else. I can comment on the product.

I believe we cannot judge the person who accomplishes the work. I don’t know what is in their mind. I don’t know much about the 3/4s of their life that they are not “at work.” I don’t know what and how they feel.

What can I say about the person? Almost nothing.

What can I say to the person? “Thank you.”

I believe this is how we should talk: We thank the person. We comment on the product. We let everyone know that this is how we talk.

Naive? Probably. Common practice? No. Still, I think these are worthy aspirations.

Tags: Authentic · Communication · People · Respect · Work

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