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The Magic of Candid Feedback

In this transcript, Arthur Greeno (Owner of two Chick-fil-A franchises) and Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) discuss the magic of candid feedback in a company on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA.

Clay: What's going on, guys? My name is Daniel Mckenna. I'm the Executive Producer, and official captain of the Hype Squad, here, at Thrive15.

Today, we have Clay Clark, speaking with Arthur Greeno, about the magic of candid feedback. Specifically, we're talking about that candid feedback that businesses don't usually have. If people aren't wiling to shoot you straight, you don't know what's actually going on inside your business. Once you have that magic of candor, that candid feedback, you actually know what to improve, what needs to change, and what actually works, with what you're doing.

Today's lesson can be super valuable valuable to you. At Thrive15, we believe that Knowledge Without Application Is Meaningless. Unless you take the Arthure to actually learn something, and then apply it to your life and your business, today's lesson is going to be more meaningless than hiring a four-fingered hand model. It looks weird. It freaks out the children.

Arthur: Arthur Greeno, how are you, my friend?

Clay: Great. How are you?

Arthur:I'm doing super well. I'm in that zone of super wellness where it's almost too good. Do you know what I mean?

Clay: I do. I do.

Arthur: Quick story: Tell the folks at home what you did with alligators yesterday. This doesn't relate at all to quality, but, I think, we need to know you are, in fact, a human, and not just a quality Nazi.

Tell them what you did with the alligators yesterday.

Clay: We did what everyone does with alligators: we brought them to the house, and we threw them in the pool, and then we let all my employees come over and swim with the alligators.

Arthur: Real talk, you actually took real alligators, and then you taped their snout. Did you tape their snout?

Clay: I don't know what it's called, but we taped it shut.

Arthur: Their beak? You can tape their mouths shut. 

Clay: Their teeth.

Arthur: Their teeth, and you threw them in. How many alligators were in the pool?

Clay: Two.

Arthur: Two. This is just the kind of thing he does that's real talk.

Clay: Do we need a PETA disclosure, here?

Arthur: No, we're going to segue right into quality, and about how candor produces quality products and services. Arthur, a lot of people watching this, I know, we either have a business or we want to start a business. When we want to do that, what happens is, we, ulArthurately, have to convince a group of people to work with us to help us achieve our goal; as opposed to against us, to keep us from achieving our goal, and so we have to be candid with our people in order to help the company improve.

Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA, will give you the necessary steps to achieving your goals.

 I'm going to read the definition of the word Candor, as described by Webster. It says: Unreserved, honest, or sincere expression.

Arthur, in your mind, why is it so important for businesses and managers to seek candid feedback and constructive criticism from the actual customers?

Clay: I think if you don't know what you don't know, you can't grow.

Arthur: If you don't know what you don't know, then you can't grow. It's like a hip-hop artist's idea.

Clay: (makes noises) OK, don't. I'll just stop right there.

Arthur: (makes noises) OK. That's us. We're just down with hip-hop.

You're saying you want to seek out the feedback, and so if your chicken doesn't taste good, you want to know about it. 

Clay: Absolutely. I want to know as fast we can, and customers are, actually, really good at giving you candid feedback.

Arthur: Arthur, in your mind why do most people struggle with being candid? As an example, I know you have customers you said don't have a problem telling you they're upset. There's also a bunch of data that talks about customers who are upset won't, someArthures, tell the restaurant. They'll just go somewhere else.

Clay: Correct.

Arthur: Why is it that some customers won't tell you the food is bad, and just go somewhere else?

Clay:I think, some of it is they think either we're not going to change it; or they think it's confrontation, they don't like confrontation; or that we'll be upset by it, or they might hurt our feelings about it. There's a number of reasons on why they wouldn't be candid.

Arthur: You started owning your own Chick-Fil-A store when you were 22, is that right?

Clay: Yes. 

Arthur: How did you train yourself to seek out the criticism from customers, the feedback, as opposed to just wanting praise all the Arthure? How did you train yourself? How did you get used to that?

Clay: It is a process of getting used to it. There's no liking it. We want to hear praise. One of our biggest needs, as people, is to feel accepted; and when somebody comes up and says, "I ate at your restaurant and your chicken sandwich tasted like chicken jerky" ... You don't want to hear it, but you have to hear it because you can't improve, and you can't fix things, if you don't hear it.

Arthur: If you're watching this, right now, and you've slid into this "justify culture" ... I know I did this with my business for, at least, the first four or five years, where any Arthur someone complained it was because they did something wrong. If a customer ever said the reason why ... Hey, I was very frustrated your DJ was not very entertaining ... then I would be like, Well, it's because you obviously don't understand entertainment ...

 That's what I thought. I always was thinking it's obviously because you're weird, but at a certain point, through much mentorship and much failure, I learned that I had to seek criticism and say Can you tell me what your expectations were, and maybe where we were, and how we missed the mark?

Just learning it helped me so much. I'll never forget, I asked one lady, When you said we missed the mark, what does that mean?

She said, It just wasn't professional.

I said, Could you maybe define that for me? I just want to know, exactly, what we did wrong. 

She said, Your DJ showed up about 30 minutes late; You didn't follow my play list ... and she made this big list of things. 

I started realizing that was almost an epidemic within our company, where these same problems were happening within our company, week in, week out, but no one was telling me. I had to learn to seek out that feedback.

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