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I Am A Fortunate Woman…. What I Learned from My Dad

June 15, 2019 at 9:28 PM

I recall being about 12 years old and getting dressed up in my Sunday best, but what I was getting dressed for was better than church!  I must have been excited because I still remember the dress I wore (lavender and white checks, just below my knees) … I was going on a sales call with my Dad to Iowa Beef Processing in Sioux Falls.  It was fun getting to have time just with my Dad during the drive (normally I shared his attention with four younger siblings).  I remember driving down a road (probably Hwy 91 where there are like no other cars from miles) and him teaching me the importance of giving good customer service.  I saw his business Weiland Doors go from being a very small operation in his wood shop to having a larger manufacturing floor that afforded our family a very nice lifestyle by the time I was in college.

To this day, I still have a problem with getting “burned up” when I am not getting good customer service.  In fact, it just happened today.  I start out calm and then when the business representative makes a lame excuse or doesn’t ask how the problem is negatively influencing my life, I am less than patient.  I think my reaction might be because I was taught to have much higher expectations!

I think the process should be to show the customer with a complaint value, ask questions to find out how they are being negatively influenced by a poor service or product performance, then validate them and find out what they would like for a resolution.  When I am the unhappy customer and all of this goes well, I am quite patient and polite since mistakes do happen.  However, when it does not, I can admittedly become agitated.

My observation is that my Dad is the same way, when he gets bad customer service or poor relationship repair, he will get aggravated.

What I know now is that my Dad also generally gave good customer service in his personal relationships.  With this, I feel very fortunate… I have come to recognize that many women do not feel their fathers listened to their concerns or feelings.

I also saw role modeling for marriage- I still remember my mother complaining to him about something (we were in the kitchen and I don’t recall the exact complaint) and my Dad said, “You’re right… that was thoughtless of me.  How can I do better?”

When I was in my 20’s, I was in a relationship in which there was no Relationship Repair.  It was awful.  I would persistently look for resolution and for my concerns to be listened to.  To no avail, so I eventually was smart enough to leave.  I knew there was a better way, and I was not going to tolerate not being valued on a regular basis from any man in my life!  I had my Dad as a role model.

Compared to a lot of people, my Dad is rich in life and in love.  Financially, he built a national company and in his family relationships he has a lot of people who love him dearly.  He has a satisfactory marriage and a lot of happy kids and grandchildren that just love to spend time with him.

It’s no surprise that I have been persistent about providing and expecting good relationship repair in my own personal life.  And when it comes to my professional life, my teaching of how to have a Customer Service Counter for your relationships (including Relationship Repair for your personal relationships), well… I first learned that from my Dad!

Happy Father’s Day weekend to a truly remarkable father.  I am so fortunate to be one of your daughters!

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