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As I was walking up to the front desk, I saw a couple that wanted to speak with me. The lady used a walker. Immediately, I had an inkling about what was going to happen next.
The gentleman said, “Are you the manager?” I replied, “I am. How may I help you?” He responded, “I am John and this is my wife, Sue. Did you get rid of the NuStep machines?” I replied, “Nope. We still have them. A couple of days ago, we moved them to a different room. Let me walk you over there.”
As we started walking, I quickly realized that we were going to be walking for a long time because Sue could only walk two inches per step. Inside, I realized my decision would impact some members more than I anticipated. I remember thinking to myself, “Ugh. I misjudged the people who really need the convenience.”
About five minutes passed and we had only made it to the location where the NuSteps used to be, which meant that we still had an additional five minutes to go. I turned to the couple and said, “Wait. I’ll be right back.”
I decided to grab the NuSteps from the new location and rolled them back. While John was helping Sue onto the machine he commented, “I really appreciate you moving the machines back.” I nodded my head to John, knelt down to Sue, and said to her, “I’m terribly sorry about this inconvenience. We won’t move them again.”
Thankfully, Sue was incredibly calm and asked me to explain the rationale of my original decision. I did just that. Soon after, Sue looked back at me, smiled and said, “I understand both sides and I know how it goes. I was a manager once, too. Just know that the positive impact that you’ll make on us old folks will go a long way.”
Think about the next meaningful decision that you’ll be making. Before making the decision, ask yourself the following question: How will the decision impact your colleagues, customers, community and organization? If you don’t answer this question, you may make the wrong choice.
Derek Deprey is the general manager and director of training and development for the Wisconsin Athletic Club. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.