My mom shared a quote by Brene Brown, with me yesterday:

“We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an effect on people. We do that in our personal lives. We do that corporate — whether it’s a bailout, an oil spill… a recall. We pretend like what we’re doing doesn’t have a huge impact on other people. I would say to companies, this is not our first rodeo, people. We just need you to be authentic and real and say … ‘We’re sorry. We’ll fix it.”

We make mistakes, personally, corporately, so why is it so hard to say, “I was wrong.” Why is it so difficult to imagine what it would feel like to be the other person?

Empathy is critical to human relationship, and relationship is at the core of what we are talking about when we say “The Kimray Way.” Fostering and developing our ability to get into the space and feelings of another person is mission critical to being able to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Kimray is recalling a product right now. We made a mistake. We let a non-conforming part through and put it into product and shipped it to our customers. Now there are products in the field that do not meet our standards or the expectations of our customers. Have we said, “We are sorry.” Have we thought about how much of a pain it will be for our customers to replace this part in all the potentially affected products? How will this effect the people who use and rely on our product?

Kimray is unable to deliver product in the time frame our customers need. We failed to anticipate the increase in business and prepare for it. Now our customers are struggling to meet their customers needs. We ask for their loyalty and we say they shouldn’t buy our competitors products, but then we fail to serve them. Do we really understand how this impacts them? How would we respond to a vendor that treated us this way?

The issue is not that we make mistakes. The issue is whether we own our mistakes and whether we fix them. It is about honesty, empathy and responsibility. We need to learn to say, “I’m sorry, I’ll fix it,” and mean it.

That’s the Kimray Way.

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