Have you ever asked a total stranger for a recommendation?
I’ll bet you have.
Maybe you found yourself in an unfamiliar area and asked for directions? Though you might at first miss it… this is asking someone to recommend a useful path to a specific location.
Been in a bookstore and asked a clerk for a book recommendation?
Found yourself at a new hair salon and asked the stylist to recommend a haircut that might be flattering?
Or maybe you’ve asked the server in a restaurant to recommend a dish for you?
Each of these seem to be likely scenario’s where people are willing to ask a total stranger for a recommendation. As I was contemplating the theme for this month’s issue of The Magic Happens, I found myself asking questions on both sides of the coin called ‘recommend’ — pondering not only what compels me to recommend something but when do I reach out and ask for a recommendation from another?
As a server in a restaurant I’ve always been a bit startled when people ask me for a recommendation simply because I’m very clear about how differently flavors land on the taste buds of each individual. I wondered why on earth anyone would look to me for a food recommendation when I have absolutely no idea how sensitive their palate might be. But right there I had a clue as to how to make better recommendations. I just needed a little more information. And that realization led me to the understanding that we invite a total stranger to recommend something to us when we believe they have more information than we do about the experience we desire to have.
As I was cleaning off tables one day this week I found the following fortune left from a fortune cookie:
It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top
What popped into my mind as I read this was that it is a great example of how I’ve been recommending things lately. You see, if someone asked me whether or not I’d recommend they go uphill or downhill, I’d first want to know if they were in it for the ease… or in it for the view.
When you offer or ask for a recommendation are you clear about what you’re in it for? Can you see how this is key to having the experience you most desire?
Don’t worry about getting it ‘right’…
both have their merits. But when you know what it is you want to experience you would do well to share that first with the person you ask a recommendation from…
and if you are asked for a recommendation, seek out the information that will let you know what the person asking is really wanting to experience. If you do that then you are far more likely to give and get GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS!
Nurture one another, play well together, and love each other… that’s what I recommend!