Imagine looking a person you admire in the eye and staying in that mutual gaze for a comfortable few seconds in total silence. How would that feel? What would their eyes be saying to yours? If they wronged you in any way, what would be the parameters required for you to forgive them? What part of your relationship would you draw on to welcome them back? Silence and forgiveness are inseparable.
Now flip your imagination to a person who you do not particularly care for and imagine yourself in a mutual gaze for a uncomfortable few seconds in total silence. How would that feel? What would their eyes be saying to yours? If they wronged you in any way, what would be the parameters required for you to forgive them? What part of your unsuccessful relationship would have to be retracted or repaired in order for you to even consider welcoming them back?
These are primal scenarios between humans to which most of us can relate. As simple as it may seem, these are the same primal feelings that keep employees engaged or disengaged with the brand culture within your company.
The silences and and forgiveness of any relationship tell us all we need to know. Whether between employees and employers or people and brands, relationships, good or bad, can be observed, measured and adjusted by going in through these two portals.
Imagine two people, a customer and a brand (personified) or two employees, any two employees, looking into the eyes of one another silently. Are their eyes loving or judging? Are their eyes sharing or taking? Are their eyes anxious or composed? Regardless, their silent gazes scream volumes.
Silence and active listening require patience and forgiveness requires empathy, character, understanding, and trust. People who are capable of active listening and forgiveness are more often beloved than not.
While brands are not people per se, it can be helpful to think of them as such and vice versa.