It’s a delicate balance for salespersons to know whether you wish to have their help or be left alone to do your shopping. Cosmetics company Sephora has devised a simple yet effective way for customers to communicate their preferences. By offering two different colored baskets, it eliminates the guesswork and makes for a happier environment for both the shopper and salesperson.

Can you adopt this model for a decision point in your organization? Use one color form for those who want assistance and another for those who are confident in their ability to complete it on their own. Create two lines for check-in to distinguish newcomers from those who have already heard the instructions. Give people stickers as they enter the dealership to indicate that they are “just looking.”

Providing a simple solution to this vexing question can make the experience much more pleasant for all who are involved.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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