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Moment of Truth

One important thing to realize is the concept of “Moment of Truth”.

There are articles and books available on this topic and talks of the importance of this concept to drive business and relationships. But to cut the long story short, the definition is:
“The moment when one realizes the actual reality of the situation and is totally convinced about its source and trustworthiness.”

This of course, has its factors of perception just as much as the perception of Quality, but to give you a simple example:

All of us in a group, with our friends do crack jokes. But sometimes it does happen that we don’t understand what the joke is all about. But still continue to laugh at it as our mind automatically tells us not to tell the person who utters the joke that it is a meaningless one – thus avoiding intimidating the person OR to ensure that others who have supposedly understood the joke do not intimidate us by asking us if we have understood – thus challenging our intelligence.
This happens because we as social animals, are taught or self learn along the way of growing up on how to behave in a society. We self hypnotize ourself into a pattern of behavior that is governed by the need to feel safe in any situation.

But once in a while what also happens is that while we are alone or going someplace, we suddenly remember the joke, understand it and have a very whimsical smile or may be a crazy look on our face – indicating our understanding of the joke.
We at that moment are IN the joke and are enjoying it fully. We will not be bothered with our crazy look or if someone is staring at us at our whimsical smile. We are enjoying that MOMENT.

“The moment when one realizes the actual reality of the situation and is totally convinced about its source and trustworthiness.”

The joke is understood. The source is from a friend who initially looked stupid of having told a joke which could not be understood, but after understanding the joke, the real stupid (source) comes out in the open (but we don’t call ourselves stupid right??). We trust our judgment of the understandability and need no evidence that our understanding is right (we always trust ourselves).
The outcome of this entire episode is a simple intent of telling a joke to make a person happy – which was achieved. Irrespective of the time it could have taken for the person to realize the “moment” of Truth.

To pictorially represent this:

The object in the mirror are closer than they appear!!!

How does it affect Business?

To take another example, it is a common saying that “first impression is the best impression” and this concept does affect the business moment of truth.

Imagine a prospective customer calling the front desk of a company and is responded to in a local language instead of a common language, it would intimidate the customer to not consider the company to do business with. But if the customer, has liked something about the company, does get to talk to the right people and does talk about his experience, then it would be a Moment of Truth to the company to ensure that the person sitting at the front desk does know how to talk over the phone and thus prevent future disasters.
But how often does this happen? Will all customers actually take time to give this feedback?
What is the potential loss to business due to the lack of proper communications originating at the front desk?

As the example suggests, not all such Moment of Truths can be unearthed and mitigated to have a better system in place to prevent any such future disasters.

This calls for a heightened awareness of the things around us, including people, process and systems, which have been put in place keeping the larger business objective in mind.

What is interesting about this concept was nicely written by Robert Frost:
We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.

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