Take Them Off the Team Before It’s Too Late!

I was removing my contact lens from my eye when it ripped in half.  I’ve never had that happen before. I told my wife I wanted to go to an eye clinic and have them remove the fragment still in my eye.  I mentioned that we just moved to this community and we needed to establish ourselves somewhere, so this would be a good opportunity to do it.

We ended up at a great facility.  There were about six optometrists and ophthalmologists, all with smiling faces, so it looked like a great place.  I went up to the receptionist (Wanda) and was surprised. (We often talk about the importance of surprising and delighting the people we serve, but this was only surprise.  There was NO delight here.)

She did not smile.  She was very abrupt in her answers.  She didn’t seem to care about my situation.  She sighed frequently. She told me that my insurance company needed to authorize any care I received from any of the doctors.  I told her that I was going to pay for it myself and would give her my credit card. She never responded to that.

Then I watched her as she humiliated several elderly patients who came in.  I was astounded. She scolded, embarrassed and wielded her control over them.  Who would treat people like this? My wife looked over from her seat in the waiting room.  I could see she was amazed, too.

The result of this story is that she DID finally change her attitude and became my best “friend”, but only because I worked some charm into the situation– apologizing and thanking my way into her good graces.  

Organizations should not have people like this. There were so many fine doctors there (I really liked the one that saw me that day), but that was no way to start off someone’s visit, especially when I wanted to be a patient.

I suppose you could say that this is also a lesson in how to turn people’s attitudes around by using the right techniques that help them feel important, but that is a story for another day when we are talking about sales.  


  1. Do you have someone like Wanda on your team?
  2. How long has she or he been this way?
  3. How long are you going to let her or him stay in her or his present position?
  4. What do other team members think about how Wanda behaves?

  5. How much business are you losing because of Wanda (any maybe other folks like her or him?)

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The Executive Coaching Experience
by Daniel P. Chiodo
As an introduction to the “Executive Coaching Experience” program, please complete this assignment to receive a complimentary session to discuss the results.