This is my stock question with customers. Not “the” highlight of your day. When people repeat my question back as “the highlight of my day”, I routinely re-route them: “No, not the highlight – that raises the bar too high. Just any little thing that made you smile.”
This routine has several benefits:
- It sidesteps the usual “How are you”s, which tend to yield nothing of value – and can be a set-up for insincerity, or bullshit. When someone initiates before me with “How are you?”, I will say “Fine” – but mostly just to blow past that question and move on to my highlight question. This question more encourages something genuine.
- It gets me focusing outsides of myself and on them. This is especially helpful when I’m depressed.
- It takes us to a positive place.
- It encourages – in me and in them – the habit of noticing little highlights to which we might otherwise pay no attention.
It doesn’t always work. Sometimes they just can’t generate an answer – to this question or to my follow-up: “What are you looking forward to today?” (More on this later.) S0metimes I can’t tell if they are ignoring me or just haven’t heard – this feels pretty awkward. Sometimes they give answers that are hard for me to hear – like if they are the 30th person to say what a beautiful day it is outside.
Often they will ask me back. This can lead to a good exchange. Sometimes I use it as a chance to promote the blog – and I like my customers knowing about it and reading it. Sometimes, when I’m depressed, I may have a hard time coming up with an answer. I’ll write on this in another post.
I don’t ask the question all the time. I will skip it if the person has a really small order (2-3 items), if they seem to be in a big hurry, if I have gone on automatic or am just too depressed to get there. But overall things seem to go better if I am asking it – and blessing people’s replies, being happy for them that they are having these happy things in their lives, cheerleading for them for saying their good things out loud.