Was privy to attend a product “party demo” (for lack of a formal event name) where the powers that be catered some grub to show the development crowd how their hard work had paid off. To show them just how great things were, they planned a product demo by the execs for all to watch. Great idea — getting the development community and the management team together.As I mingled about with a few familiar faces, we were startled to discover the demo had started. There was no announcement, no gathering of the troops, no public address. Just a silent start. I then watched the very disengaged crowd. As some noticed the demo and the bigwigs that had congregated for the celebration, they moved closer and tried to take in what was being done. But no broadcast sound and the distance between those acting and those watching made for an unfulfilling experience and the crowd drifted away. Some never bother to connect, simply staying on the fringes. I was told later the powers-that-be declared the demo a smashing success.Examined from a distance, the executive team had a very important part of the company assembled. They failed to make a public announcement and did not ask for — or get — any feedback from the people closest to their pre-release product. Rather than taking the opportunity to engage them with some dialog, they chose a safe distance and a sort of stage to hide behind.The same thing can happen every time a customer walks into a retail store, a trade show booth is erected, or a gathering of any community/organization occurs. It’s a chance to collect data, a chance to develop relationships, and a chance to improve.
When faced with the chance to talk to your customer, team, employees, or friends, find out what they think by starting a (two-way) conversation and listen.