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A True Story About a Chair

Category : general marketing, strategy

140

jillchair.jpgThis is a true story and you need to read it.

While out to eat with friends recently, I heard a story that so caught my attention that I couldn’t wait to write about it. A former co-worker and now close friend of my wife and I humbly relayed something she’s started at work. She’s not the type to boast or draw attention to herself and to further put this in perspective, she’s the antithesis of the corporate, political-playing title climber. She’s got an incredible personality, truly enjoys people, and rarely is found without a positive glow. So, can you imagine that she’s potentially changing the way a Fortune 500 listens and communicates with its employees and customers?

Well, she is and she’s doing it with a chair.

She works in Communications for a very large retailer based in the Midwest who has thousands of stores worldwide, thousands of employees, and a bustling technology-filled corporate campus filled with energetic people trying to climb the ladder and change the world of retail.

Then there is Jill. She had a simple idea that – at first – was met with opposition. But, her perpetual optimism won over management and they told her to give her idea a try.

So, she plopped down two chairs in the heart of this busy corporate campus and put a sign over the two chairs calling out a topic for the day. She occupied one chair and then waited. And waited. And waited for another employee to sit down and discuss the topic she had posted. No technology. No motives. Just a person genuinely interested in her co-worker’s thoughts and feelings.

Well, her wait was short. People started to sit and talk. One at a time, Jill sat and spoke with employees. Taking notes on employees concerns and feedback, she promised their input would be anonymously passed on to upper management – and it is.

Would you believe that at times there are lines waiting to talk with her? They trust Jill and love sharing their thoughts with her. There are plans to not only increase the frequency of when she’s there to talk, but now she might sit at stores and talk with customers about their experience.

Again, two chairs. A topic. No technology. The whole world of business broken down to its simplest form – face to face, honest communication.

Here’s the copy that is used to advertise The Chair:

“The Chair” is designed to spark open, face-to-face, one-on-one conversation with employees in the simplest way possible: by offering employees a topic to talk about, an empty chair to sit on and an Employee Communications team member to listen to them (really listen – without a laptop, cell phone or Blackberry in the way). “The Chair” gives us a pulse-check on employee opinions, thoughts and ideas, while giving employees a place to be heard. “The Chair” is set up every other Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon for corporate employees, with plans to expand it to store employees in the future.

With all the texting, blogging, IM, emailing, chatting, Twittering, etc. isn’t it awesome that a simple thing like this is having such a dramatic effect on a very large company? With any company, constructive feedback from employees and customers is not easy to get. As a marketer, I practically jump off the ceiling if I can get a customer or employee to sit down and tell me honestly what they think of our products or marketing plan.

Honestly, I’m not sure just anyone could pull this off. If you could meet Jill, you’d instantly know why this is working. But, I think more companies need to try. Listening is so important to understanding, and understanding customers and employees is what empowers businesses to improve.

Like a lot of corporate environments, people are falling all over themselves trying to take credit for the idea, but in the end it was all Jill. She’s loving it and has truly carved out a niche for herself in corporate America.

If you’d like to learn more about this effort, let me know and I’ll put you in contact with Jill.

What are your thoughts on The Chair?


Comments (140)

This is a beautiful concept.

Technology is great, but it’s a tool. Communication at it’s very heart is the ability for us to connect with others. Face-to-face may be “old school” but it’s still the best way to connect; through our words, body language and facial expressions. There is immediate feedback to tell us whether our message is getting through.

When someone is taking time out of their day to let us know our message is getting through THAT is communication!

Well done, Jill!

Wow. I’m thrilled to hear this story and how empathy can be a BIG, NEW idea for business. Touching, sweet and inspiring. I’m sure I’ll pass it along.

Yes, good job Jill. Hip, hip, hooray!

That’s a great story, Pat. It’s very inspiring, and a good reminder that real, face-to-face, human interaction is still the best way to communicate with people—employees/co-workers and customers alike.

What a GENIUS idea?

This could actually be taken and run with ‘any’ marketing campaign (if you had the balls to just sit there in the first place)

I believe this blog post is FAR more important than you could possibly imagine.

My ‘ideas counter’ in my head is running on overtime now.

Many thanks,

Pete.

Patrick,
This reminds me that we have to stick with the basics. Nothing more important then just listening to what people have to say (employees and customers). Obviously you don’t do something like this just for ROI but I am sure there is plenty of return in the form of good will and word of mouth for this sort of effort.

Thanks

” two chairs. A topic. No technology”
agreeing with everybody in here. no need to be complicated, simple can often do more

[...] A True Story About a Chair So, she plopped down two chairs in the heart of this busy corporate campus and put a sign over the two chairs calling out a topic for the day. She occupied one chair and then waited. And waited. And waited for another employee to sit down and discuss the topic she had posted. No technology. No motives. Just a person genuinely interested in her co-worker’s thoughts and feelings. [...]

Thanks everyone for the nice comments! Jill has been watching them and is surprised and thrilled with the positive feedback. I told her she shouldn’t be surprised – this is a great idea!

Wow – great idea. Communication is key and sometimes we foget basic strategies are sometimes the best.

“The Chair” is so inspiring! To connect live and listen and be listened to is amazingly powerful. We all need more of it.
Lois

Patrick, what a great story, thanks for sharing and I’ll be sure to share it with my “chairless” peeps.

Jay

[...] Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer has a beautiful post about his friend Jill who put two chairs in the middle of a busy corporate campus and sat down to [...]

A True Story About a Chair…

A simple but effective way to discover the needs of your employees and customers. Patrick Schaber of The Lonely Marketer shares how a friend is using two chairs and a sign to find out what their employees are thinking. I’m putting this under the categ…

incredible idea. Communicating with your emplyees in this fashion would enormously help large companies understand the going ons of the front lines.

Thank you all for the nice comments. I came up with this idea because I felt that we needed to go back to the basic skill of listening. I honestly never thought it was a skill to listen, shouldn’t we all be capable of it? What I realized is that few of us take the time to listen, to understand what others think and actually care enough to act on it.
I am lucky to have a friend like Pat who appreciated my efforts and is educating others to just take the time to listen.

Found out about this story from Lois over at BlogHound.com.

To Pat I say it’s great to have friends like you cheering on and appreciating what so many would otherwise pooh pooh: if you give the Tom Rath book Vital Friends a look, you’ll see how vital that kind of support can be.

To Jill I say good for you! As a life coach I’m saddened by how often the people I talk to feel unheard by even those closest to them. You said it best in your own comment: ‘few of us take the time to listen’, to others or ourselves. As for caring enough to act on it, what I find more often is true is that they are afraid to act on it: it’s such a departure from the over-complicated, speed-of-sound life we all thing we have to keep up with, we aren’t sure we can afford to act any differently than we think we have to to keep our heads above water.

Then along comes someone like you with the wisdom and willingness to champion the simple, and reminds us that connection and real conversation does the job every time.

Wonderful post about a wonderful job. I can feel the love!

A simple way, yet no one think of and its so powerful than any tech now exist. Beautiful way to attract people. She should be a blogger.

Hi Pat, thanks for sharing such an inspiring story! Jill, I feel that you have really captured the gist of it all, which is to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND the people!
However, I got a small query, how do you actually manage to get the people to speak the truth? I am actually from Singapore, and I think the corporate culture here doesn’t really allow people to speak their mind like in Western countries. These people feel obligated to be politically correct and as a result, they don’t reveal their honest views. How do we cope with that? Look forward to learning from you guys!

I am not sure The Chair would work in all cultures but if there is trust without fear in your corporate culture than I think it should work. I can’t imagine why the act of listening and understanding can’t be universal regardless of how you go about it. I beleive that it really depends on the environment.

Wilson,
Thanks for visiting the site! I agree with Jill – this may not work in all cultures. In fact there may be regions in the US where this may be a challenge. Your business culture is much different so I’d be curious to see how this is received.

I wonder if there is not a variation of The Chair concept that would be more applicable to your culture?

-Pat

I liked your “chair” story so much I emailed it to my son who works in a corporate office. I can’t wait to hear what he thought of it. To me, it makes perfect sense!

Wonderful, constructive and creative to be involved and specially making time in this new world of NO TIME.

Great Story !!

[...] Patrick Schaber at The Lonely Marketer, A True Story About a Chair – Great true parable about the real meaning of communication. This post ought to be required [...]

What an inspiring story. This should be circulated to every corporation – hell, every company – in North America. Not only does it show the value of real, honest communication (and actually listening and caring about what people have to say), but the value of persistence. She could have easily let this idea go in the face of opposition (people must have thought she was nuts), but she really believed in it and kept at it. Good for her! She should be very proud of herself.

I get some new ideas after reading this post. A chair not just only for employees and customers, we can use it for many thing in the world which is related to human. I love this chair, will pratice in my company soon.

A Suggestion Box with a pulse and 2 ears. Sounds like Jill is going to provide outsized value with an amazingly simple idea…

I think this is an awesome idea! I will definitely share with others I am in contact. Thank you for writing about it.

Sometiems people just want to talk to people … without the channels.

I really enjoyed reading this post! Great story and concept. I think that The Chair method is a great & creative way to open up lines of communication!

A most effective way to show the people you care. More corporations need to find someone within or an outsider to be their ears for them.

Congratulations Jill on a splendid idea! And thank you Pat for sharing with your reading audience.

Listening to people is very important to make success, so we must learn it, and it will make our life easier.

Patrick, i love this story and have posted a link and a summary on one of our company’s sites for hr professionals. BTW, it really reminded me of the NPR project which led to the book, “Listening is an act of love.” If you’ve ever listened to some of these amazing stories, you’ll realize this taps a deep emotional need. Here’s the link to the npr project
http://www.storycorps.net/listen/
cheers Julie

A truly inspiring story. I know an example of the chair. Unfortunately the chair I know, did report to superiors and the people that spoke with their hearth, were punished.

Really absurd!

Patrick,

Good story. Jill’s idea in various forms has also been tried successfully in other corporate environments, although this is the first time I heard of an outside setting. I’m surprises management doesn’t get annoyed with employees standing in line but am glad they don’t.

A great story. Thanks for sharring it. i love the blog. Very great. Go on that way ;)

The chairs and the tables on the picture look so nice.

[...] you read “A True Story About a Chair?”    While the industry analysts pull their hair out over how to solve company issues, a [...]

This is the management skill and strategy. And not everybody can well deal with it, only those persons with good personality can succeed on it.

Wow. It’s like a parable from one of those trendy little business books, but it’s REAL! It’s a credit to all the people like Jill who really do manage to uplift our workplaces without getting much credit for it. And I love the idea of doing it with ultimate customers. It wouldn’t be painless, and you’d get lots of “complaint department” type visitors; but just the fact that there is person designated to LISTEN will defuse the angry ones, and delight the rest. Thanks for sharing the story.

wow…what a concept…very great idea…with the rigt communication you reach everything…

Pat, just ran across this story, and of course, I love it. Getting back to “real” contact, face to face, is so important to building real relationships – and it helps if you feel you are being listened to. I just wrote a blog post about a company, FreshBooks, that goes out and meets its customers face to face over meals when they visit a customer’s city. Brilliant!

You rock, Jill (and Pat, for sharing it with us)!

A very great story. It is so breath-taking. I like it. The picture is great too.

What a good idea :) . I will tell this to my friends, they have a good view on potential idea’s .

i love this story…very nice…thanks for posting this information…i like it very much…

Great story, though it’s actually kind of sad that in today’s busy world we have to invent something such as “the Chair” to get people to start talking. This type of dialogue should happen anytime/anyplace…and it’s up to everyone to make that a reality.

I think that it’s great to have interpersonal conversation in the digital age!

[...] on April 10, 2008 – 3:06 am – Patrick Schaber over at The Lonely Marketer has a beautiful post about his friend Jill who put two chairs in the middle of a busy corporate campus and sat down to [...]

What a wonderful story. Back to basics is needed, all the more so in this electronic age. Go Jill!!! You are my new hero!

It is a wonderful story. i love it. Thanks for sharing with us. I love your blog, go on that way :)

Great concept. I rather like the name too.
“The Chair” sounds catchy!

Great story and excellent lesson: nothing compares to good old-fashioned face-to-face communication.

For further reading, I recommend Ionesco’s novel, The Chairs.

Simple idea to communicate with others not just talk. Inspiratif idea for every leader to communicate with their fellow.

Fantastic idea! This is really the core of what every company needs to do to grow and get better at what they do. There are surveys and research groups and a ridiculous amount of technology related ways to try and get feed back, but going straight to the people who know the system and the products best, the employees, is almost novel these days. This will definitely get picked up on by other companies. I’ll be bringing the idea up around here. I’m sure there are a lot of different ways it can be applied.

I’m not surprised that it was such a success. Something in person like that and 100% anonymous is a lot more secure than doing it over the phone or sending an e-mail where someone could easily overhear or get a copy of.

The story sounds unbeliveble. Very interesting and creative these story. I like the ides. I hope you get it.

I like your story and your educative words. Could you send out more postings? I like to come to your blog frequently.

Wow, that is one of the most inspiring stories I have read in a while!

This reminds me that we have to stick with the basics. Nothing more important then just listening to what people have to say (employees and customers). Obviously you don’t do something like this just for ROI but I am sure there is plenty of return in the form of good will and word of mouth for this sort of effort.

-Jeff

I know this one is from a while back but I love the story. Technology makes communication easier than even but sometimes it can get in the way of a good conversation.

Wow, this story is an inspiration for all of us. We can learn a lesson from this and implement in our life. Thanks for sharing.

Only two chairs have the power to draw a crowd. This is the power of human contact, they come together, and talk things out which is the fundamental of human communications.

Great idea!

Yes, technology can be used to communicate. But it can also be used to BLOCK or stifle communication.

Alexander Graham Bell is probably rolling over in his grave upon discovering how his wonderful communication tool is NO LONGER used to communicate, in many cases. The phone is NOT a good way to communicate in the corporate world any more, thanks to voicemail + voicemail ‘hell.’ The phone is used as a way to BLOCK communication, these days!

Unfortunately, the two chairs idea is seen as genius because everyone is using their ‘modern’ technology, NOT to communicate, but to H-I-D-E-!

– TW

I really enjoyed this article! It is such a simple way to empower employees to be honest about their ideas and concerns! It is fantastic! I’d love to learn more- in your post you offered to put interested persons in touch with Jill- I’d love that!

Thanks!

haha i wanna chair like that!
-Kristen

I am truly touched by Jill. To think how many lives are affected by just a simple furniture, a simple person, and a great idea. I should consider doing this in the office one day. It’ll definately break the bland atmosphere, but i dont know whether i have the guts to do it.

Well.. Face to face communications are the best way to convey message. These days we rely on e-mails and IM too much in the office to cut down face to face interactions to practically none. So, I agree “The Chair” is a good practice =D

two chairs. A topic. No technology. The whole world of business broken down to its simplest form – face to face, honest communication.

simplest and true form of communication. nothing gets clearer to each other better then face to face. is so simple yet so hard to accomplish.. guess is time for everyone to look deep within themself for the simplest idea.. no fancy stuff eh

The Chair, it’s a nice idea but still conventional. Employers and employees will get in touch more this way.

A truly wonderful and inspirational story of two chairs and how it brings us human beings closer..

Like everyone else, I love this story. I love that Jill had the chutzpah to pull it off. And I also feel sorry for all the great people in big, impersonal organizations where it’s come down to this.

Aren’t the CEO and the rest of the management team somewhat embarrassed that the workforce feels so disconnected to the organization that actual two-way communication is considered a breakthrough? Do these organizations discourage contrarian or original thinking? Do you need to suffer from group-think to have a hearing with management?

Or am I making false assumptions?

I honestly feel that people get so caught up in the craziness of their business day that they fail to take or make the time to actually listen to their coworkers. We try so hard to reach the masses by using technology that makes things easy and fast that we fail to remember that basic human interaction works wonders.

I shed a tear reading that. And its not often i do that, especially from reading something. Such a simple, simple thing can actually change a entire company’s mindset.

Wow! Thats a really good idea from Jill. Who knew that in our advanced technological age, the best way to communicate is still face to face

Honestly, your idea really touched me… However is the technology, face to face communicate still is the best way!

wow, chair concepts, Jill’s the best…

I am very happy to hear that despite of all the technological advancements and ability for people to just go online, the fundamental principle of the human touch still is the BEST!
This is one innate nuture in human that we all want to be listened to. As for the Chair concept, i can only say that its a very creative and brilliant way to get people to share one on one…powerful yet simple :)

Will new posts be added again? I just finished reading through the archives and I’ve grown to really like this blog :)

Going back to the basics! People forget all it takes is for two people open their mouths to start communicating. I love this story.

Great blog entry. I think too often we hide behind the technology.

I can remember many years ago getting an incredibly harsh email from a guy I worked with. He was rude, aggressive and really taking a shot at me for something that really didn’t deserve that kind of behaviour. I was in my early 20′s and felt scared to talk to him. But, I needed to clear up the issue fast so I walked over to see him.

When I spoke to him about it, he was sweet as a lamb and we had a quick conversation that ironed it out quickly. He agreed to do things as I’d suggested and was nothing like the tone of his note.

It made me think just how stressful dealing with emails and technological media can be. How refreshing to put a human there for people to offload their stresses to. Love it!

Cheers,

Lee Duncan
Business Coach, Cambridgeshire UK
“Most people don’t go into business for themselves just to survive, but that’s what most end up doing”

I like it. I wish that more companies did things like that. The workforce is evolving and the old tried method of a bureaucracy won’t work anymore. Things like this need to happen.

Sometimes th most simple thing is the most brilliant thing. great story.

Communication is the basic key in life, something that is more important than we might realize.

A truly inspiring story. I know an example of the chair. Unfortunately the chair I know, did report to superiors and the people that spoke with their hearth, were punished.

Really absurd!

Beautiful story. I think what appeals to people about it is that it is just honest communication between 2 people. Simple. We as humans value that.

Well, an amazing story. it makes me happy that still in this world there are people who believe in simplicity.
It’s very rightly said “keep Life Simple”. How much ever we run in our day to day life and work, but the most important part is that we still all love our ancient type of life which was much simpler. We have gadgets like blackberry and laptops, but see how we all appreciate Jill in her most simplest way talking to her employees. In our run to climb the ladder as fast as possible, we have forgotten the basics of living a simple and happy life.

Really good idea Jill!

I think, thats the way, to get most out of a company, if everyone is heard.

All my best

Johannes

Hi Pat.

Very interesting story – I will always agree that communication is key to success!

Take care,

Andy

The idea is splendid. This is what I would call reaching back to your roots. The simple old fashioned way is still the best, no technology, no pretenses. This is sure to work so much better than employee feedback boxes. A discussion is sure to sort out matters very quickly.

That’s a great thought, and a good story. My own experiences have been that with the companies I worked with the “chair” was a trap and the people who really spoke what was on their minds were transferred, demoted, laid off, or made so miserable that they quit. Too bad more companies can’t be ethical and use the “chair” in the spirit in which it SHOULD be used.

This is a great story, we had a discussion a while back about whether there will be a change back in business and social life from the online focus these days to a more simple and face to face interaction as people become flooded and sick of online interaction and the cool and social hip thing becomes to actually go talk to people face to face.

I loved the story about The Chair and I think a lot of companies could benefit from this type of information gathering. Low tech strikes on into the heart of hi tech polls and other information gathers. Keep putting fine information on this great site, I will check back often.

I work in the ‘mental health’ field and know how hard it is to get people with problems to trust you and open up to you. To me group therapy is a waste of time for most people but one on one, in time they learn to trust you and open up to you. This is a wonderful testiment to the simple fact that people do need face to face communication with another human and not a machine. Bring the chair and they will come sort of like that movie ‘Build it and they will come’ about the baseball players. Great article!!!!!

Everyone loves to be listened to, and that’s not something that happens all that often for somebody low on the totem pole at a big corporation. I think that a lot of companies could do themselves a favor by soliciting suggestions in a setting that made people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.

Simplicity really is beauty — and the best ideas are nested in the everyday and mundane. There were no bells and whistles, no flashy billboards, no witty tag lines — just a chair and a lot of sincerity. Listen to the subtle message — people want sincerity and simplicity.

Great idea. It’s a bit like the video booth thingy wherein people can go inside and open up to a machine. Having a real live – friendly and interested person to talk to makes all the difference. A fantastic way to gather information from employees in an informal way. Well done to Jill

thanks for sharing that story.. Jill is amazing..
this is a great story.

The chair is simple and allows real-time raw expression of your thoughts.

I think that is the one fundamental problem with all the blogging/posting software today, the delay in putting down your ideas.

Sure it’s easy to sit down and carefully plan what you want to blog about, or even to twitter, but being able to do real-time self-expression is even better.

Simplicity and timeliness is what I’m definitely aiming towards with my UI designs.

[...] at the lonely marketer blog (link), there is a lovely story about how one person has created a change within their organisation, [...]

[...] “A True Story About a Chair.” [...]

The story regarding the chair is marvellous and fantastic.And the relation between the chair and technology is linked in a strange way.And the way of narrating the story is appreciable

This is the management skill and strategy. And not everybody can well deal with it, only those persons with good personality can succeed on it.

“The Chair” – That’s an amazing story, Patrick. It’s very inspiring, perpetual optimism could be called sheer persistance. and a good reminder that simplicity is genius. real, face to face human interaction is still the best way to communicate with otherbpeople. Great stuff.

http://www.consumermarket.co.uk

That’s wonderful! I wish my old company had done something like this. It’s difficult to share your input through email – sometimes it can make one feel that their thoughts are just a delete button away from being ignored. Wonderful article, thanks for sharing!

Now if we could only find a way for two people to share a chair over the internet that would really be taking it to the next level. But, in a corporate setting people would be to scared to discuss anything not “the company line” due to the tracing that is available over the internet and the fact that it could lead to there firing.

A True Story About a Chair So, she plopped down two chairs in the heart of this busy corporate campus and put a sign over the two chairs calling out a topic for the day. She occupied one chair and then waited. And waited. And waited for another employee to sit down and discuss the topic she had posted. No technology. No motives. Just a person genuinely interested in her co-worker’s thoughts and feelings.

This would be the perfect idea. Im surprised management allowed this! Usually they don’t want employees speaking to one another! This movement should be passed along! I’ll do my part and share with others’ your URL to this article.
I wish things were more personable and that upper management would consider employee’s concerns.

Sometimes, it’s just that easy. People tend to overthink, we just need to go back to basics.

Wow that’s an insightful story.

I agree that communication is still important!

Thanks for posting!

I understood what’s the power of communication… face-to-face approaching should be attract our customers… it must be help us to improve our communication skills and our business…

Impressive story. Anyone who thinks communication isn’t important is naive about what it takes to succeed.

I think you nailed it with this post. Understanding, more than listening – or pretending to – is the key to improvement in so many areas. I cannot agree more with this post.

Communication plays a major role in marketing. Without them, there is no real value. Nice sharing and keep posting.

A very touching and creative story; I must also agree that communication is the most important thing! So, keep up the good posting!

@Murthy
Communication in business’s is pretty much what keeps them alive. Communication with customers should be the #1 priority of businesses as well, but it doesn’t always go that way

Thumbs up for the intellectual lady from my side. This surely was an innovative and creative idea and its success story speaks for itself. I am sure lots and lots of companies would adopt this idea as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing.

That’s wonderful! I wish my old company had done something like this. It’s difficult to share your input through email – sometimes it can make one feel that their thoughts are just a delete button away from being ignored. Wonderful article, thanks for sharing!

Genius! Happy employees always makes a great company. I think that many employers tend to overlook this aspect and it can sometimes be the reason for why their business fails. Keeping employees happy and most importantly listening, will help improve their productivity as well. Thanks for sharing this story.

As Bob Hoskins said, “Its good to talk”.

The story is humble..It is a return to innocence.

What a nice story. Great opening and nice writing style. I SO agree.

The idea is splendid. This is what I would call reaching back to your roots. The simple old fashioned way is still the best, no technology, no pretenses. This is sure to work so much better than employee feedback boxes. A discussion is sure to sort out matters very quickly.

This is a very moving and inspiring story. The chair is a manifestation and a perfect illustration that no matter what, at the end of the day, everything can be talked about. There is no better way to fix issues but talk.

How nice if we all could apply this in our daily lives and not just in the workplace. The “Chair” seems to tell us one simple yet very important lesson – speaking and listening which are both essential elements to achieve better understanding.

Great story, the thing that came to mind straight away reading that, “Was Back To Basic” that is the problem today, we have all this technology, people are far too busy, doing far too much and sometimes I just feel it would be good just to go back to basics and that is what Jill did – great stuff, we should all try it.

more companies need to try. Listening is so important to understanding, and understanding customers and employees is what empowers businesses to improve.

i do agree with you on this point everyone need more communication for understanding

Very good and well writing post, gives a good example of how important communicaions are

This is a classic example of going back to basics and the power of personal touch. While we’re bombarded with so many social media tools like FB and twitter, the human side craves for real conversations and real emotions not just emoticons that express if we’re happy and sad.

If only major corporations and small business realize its impact to overall productivity and employee morale. Alas, simple things are usually taken for granted…

I think you could remove the chair from the equation and learn that most employees have interesting thoughts and ideas on how their company is run and it’s worth asking about them.

It is ridiculous that so many managers never do sit down and ask their staff what they think would improve the company to help them work more efficiently and happily.

It is sheer arrogance to assume that just because you run the company, your ideas are the best.

Anyone who gets in a consultant before asking staff about what can improve a company is an idiot.

So, yes, the chair idea is a good one.

This is a really good idea. It seems honest enough to get people to talk frankly and openly.

Excellent post. This is very important, and I am sure that most don’t think about things like this.

You are really doing and amazing job by sharing such a nice blog with us, its very nice and very informative

Wow. Really a brilliant idea from her part.
Face to face communication always helps to solve problems.
good luck!

-Sass teenfitnessblog.blogspot.com

Now that is an inspiring article about the true meaning of communication. Thanks!

Never thought you could make a story about a chair so interesting

Thats the first inspiring article i have read in some time, thanks

Very clever idea but lets hope its not just listening and if any valid points are raised that the management actually do something about it, otherwise the whole thing falls apart.

Hi, interesting story and great title which made me read. I could be wrong but the way you prtray Jill and your comments such as “they love Jill and love sharing their thoughts with her” must have a lot to o with how this ha worked, in any case it just goes to show that when someone cares to listen people are more attentive amongst all the corporate BS we face today.

Great story.

Great story …technology is only the tool, after all they don’t call it “Social Media” for nothing. The problem is that most of us forget that at the end of the day it still boils down to the Face to Face conversation.

simply AMAZING, a very great story and thank you so much for sharing it. Now we can all implement this idea in some way to help make the workplace a better place.

a good post about communication, I like it. Communication is the basic key in life, something that is more important than we might realize. Great story.

Fabulous lesson on communication. In fact, every entrepreneur must read this. This story taught me the true way of communication.