4. How do you define quality?

If the goal of this course is to help you develop a quality product, you need to think through what you mean by quality. What do you mean when you say you saw a great film or read a good book? Why are you recommending friends to stream that series or listen to that musician? What makes for a fantastic public speaker in your eyes? Why is that leader, teacher, or politician so much better than all the others? Why are you comfortable with one salesperson but not the other?

Let me give some examples of things that I have experienced in the past few days. 

I am in the process of buying a new car. I hate the process because I have little knowledge, little interest, and little time to care. I am very sensitive to how the car dealership looks and how the salespeople approach me (or not, because sometimes they are hard to find). The salesperson I met knew his stuff, could answer any question I had, and seemed to not at all be bothered by my uncertainty, doubt, or indecision. He was patient but fast with his fingers on the computer to come up with solutions and suggestions. He was not a person with a tremendous amount of personality or charisma. He just did what he does very well and fit my state of mind. His competence was comforting. And yes, I signed the contract.

I watched a popular Talkshow host on TV the other day. The host has done this for many years and has an excellent reputation. He can get people to open up, laugh, and get his guests to interact with each other, but I think he is extremely uneven. Some interviews are just great. Some are semi-disasters and last week’s last interview was in the disaster category when an athlete shared an emotionally disturbing incident. The host more or less left her out to dry, opening open an emotional wound and not helping her close it. I am almost certain she did not feel too well about herself or her decision to go on the show after that interview.

The other day I was the first person to use a new streaming studio. If the technology doesn’t work, it affects the way the lecturer is perceived. My professionalism is crucial to me. It simply has to work. And, of course, things broke down seconds before we were to go live. The person who set up the studio and was running the streaming service went about calmly doing what he could to reboot by switching computers. We were five minutes late getting on the air, but his calmness, composure, and problem-solving skills – along with a super positive attitude – saved the day. I admired his ability to help me avoid becoming overly nervous and stressed out. It made me calmer as well, and confident things would work out in the end. 

How do you define quality service? What is quality leadership? What is quality teaching or lecturing? The closer you can get to finding the reasons for quality or your definition of quality, the easier it is to help others find and utilize their best selves and in the process, help others.

That car salesman helped me not only buy a car but helped me in my decision-making. That Talkshow host showed me what not to do – and that’s important too. My technician in the studio helped not only to fix the problem but to ease my stress.

These secrets of how we act and interact are great things to share. What is that person’s secret power? What are their strengths and talents? What makes them so good? How can you bring out and show the small things they do well that make them so effective? 

Bringing out quality, bringing out brilliance – do that well, and your Talkshow will grow in its influence and importance. 

Watch the interview example with Maria J.

The first three interview examples were of so-called strength talks. Here’s an example of a ”dog-talk” trying to prove that you can still make the conversation have a much deeper meaning from something seemingly simple. Watch. Compare the first two examples. Do you see the similarity in structure and purpose? I assure you, that you can that a good conversation can have virtually any subject or event as a starting point. This is about Maria’s dogs, and if that’s your thing, interview dog owners. Just choose a topic or theme that interests you and go for it.

In this and further interviews, notice how I use keywords, trying to understand the connection between values and behavior.