Brilliant Recovery From Failure

Spending a lot of time in airports recently, I got chatting to a couple that had the usually catastrophic experience of losing their holiday luggage.  Yet rather than the typical “never fly with such-and-such again” (usually the woeful BA naturally) they sang the praises of their airline, Air France.

Flying through Paris, just after they boarded their long haul connection their names came over the tannoy.  An attendant appeared.  They were informed that their bags didn’t make the flight.  They’d be delivered to their hotel the next day and arrangements were discussed to their satisfaction.

Of course, problems could still have spiralled (imagine if they’d further travelling upon landing or were desperate for something from their bags on arrival) but they were so happy that they’d been informed as soon as the issue arose, placation was achieved.

I myself contrast this to my own experiences (hang your head in shame as usual BA) where I’ve been the last person at the carousel as the belt stops and I’m all alone.  Without my bags.  And no-one could care less.

The friend I was with then started to tell me how, when he began work at a huge pub chain, they had around half-a-dozen phrases that represented the desired culture.  One was “brilliant recovery from failure”.  There seemed a similar ethos within Air France.

Can there be anyone that encounters “failure” more often in the workplace than salespeople?  Whether it be dusting yourself down after losing a deal, or reacting to when any one of a multitude of colleagues from sales prevention departments lets you down, its frequency is daunting.  Adopting this as a mindset will smooth things our way I’m sure.  After all, I’m certain we can all think of similarly impressive examples from our own disasters where we’ve seen suppliers pull irons from the fire.

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