A grain of rice!

BRENDA ECKSTEIN: A grain of rice!

Motivational Nano Library

BRENDA ECKSTEIN: A grain of rice! -Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit

Picture the scene. You are taking an important client to your favorite restaurant for dinner. Your personal assistant
has phoned to make a reservation. You know you’ll be shown to your table-of-choice. This is exciting! You can’t wait!

As you drive into the familiar well-lit parking area, your conversation with Maggie is good. The ‘perfect gentleman’,
you open the car door for her and lead her towards the welcoming entrance to the restaurant. Familiar faces come
forward and greet you warmly by name.

The atmosphere is perfect, the temperature exactly right. The background aroma is appealing, not too dominant. The
lighting is just right with candles providing a soft glow. You are proud that you have chosen this restaurant for an
important relationship-building exercise. You glance around, people deeply engaged in conversation are smiling and
the atmosphere is professional and yet congenial.

The beautiful white starched table-cloths and napkins form a background to the shining silverware and sparkling
glasses. You order wine and your guest is invited to study the food menu. You know exactly what you are going to eat.

You always order the same because it is so good. Your mind is churning and you want to say: ‘Hurry up Maggie, I’m
hungry!’ But you politely wait for the maître-d to describe the specials and you give her time to study the menu.

You chat and at the appropriate time, the food arrives. You politely wait for her to pick up her cutlery and to start
eating. You eagerly await her approval of the food. But … as she picks up her fork to start eating, you notice that there
is a single grain of rice stuck to her fork!

At the moment you notice that single grain of rice, she does, too. She looks at it in horror and doesn’t quite know
what to do. She has been given a dirty fork, one that has been in some-one else’s mouth before being half-washed
and put back on the table. Where else has that grain of rice been? No-one wants to eat recycled rice!

Do you think your guest enjoyed the rest of the meal? Were you proud of your choice of restaurant? What did that
one grain of rice do for your ego? The good times you’d had at this restaurant most probably paled into insignificance. ‘How dare they not wash their forks properly’ was likely the thought that went through your mind. You possibly felt cheated, betrayed, let down.

All it takes is a single negative event to destroy a reputation that perhaps has taken years to build.

Attention to detail is important if we intend being the person of choice, the team of choice or the organization of
choice. Positive relationships help to provide the platform for an ‘absence of malice’. In other words, we may give the
restaurateur the ‘benefit of the doubt’ when things do go wrong.

The grain of rice is a wonderful metaphor for all aspects of the way we conduct ourselves and our businesses.

Everything else can be 100% perfect. Yet one grain of rice in the wrong place can create a negative impression that
can undo years of hard work. My question to you is this: What can you do to make sure that your forks are properly cleaned? Every grain of rice needs to be in the right place. Pay attention to detail!

BRENDA ECKSTEIN: A grain of rice! -Motivating your Mind Inspiring your Spirit

Brenda Eckstein is a bestselling author, speaker, leading trainer and executive
coach based South Africa. She was first female (Honorary) President of the
Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce (pop. 500,000). A veteran professional
member of the NSW Chapter of NSA of Australia (NSW), she attends when working
in Sydney. She has published two books, ‘Networking Tactics’ and ‘ABCs of
Effective Networking’.


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