She held her brains in with her hands – Misperception Abounds

I was drawn in by a story that was shared on the radio by a typically reliable source. The announcer shared that recently a couple went to a business establishment and the wife waited in the car as the man engaged in an extended appointment. Upon returning to the car the man noticed his wife was slumped over with her hands interlaced behind her head. When he called to her she responded that she had been shot in the back of her head while in the parking lot and that she had been holding her brains in with her hands for nearly an hour. The man called 911, and paramedics broke into the car to find that a tube of biscuit dough had exploded in the car. The woman thought the explosive sound was a gunshot and felt impact against the back of her head. As she reached back she felt something that she interpreted to be brain tissue.

I was so “engrossed” by the story that I began exploring important lessons that could be culled from it, such as how much our perception is our reality. For over an hour the woman purportedly was sure she was holding her brains in her head with her hands. I even started to contemplate the power of perception when it is mixed with a healthy dose of fear and began crafting a blog suggesting that we all need to think about helping reduce our customer’s perceptions of fear. That was until I researched the story.

It turns out that this event never happened and in fact was started as part of a comedic routine. How many people like my radio announcer and me have been pulled in by the fabrication over the years? So now my customer-centric challenge is to have us all check out as many claims as possible to assure that we don’t contribute to customer confusion and misperceptions. What do you think?

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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