Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Honey vs. Lemon

“You get more with honey than with lemon.”

It’s a saying my mom had for when you’re trying to work with someone. I’ve used both angles in the past, but personally prefer honey because it feels like a much better way to interact with people. I think it's just the best way to work with people but I’m curious to know, however, whether the saying is true and you actually get more or better results with honey than with lemon.

Psychologically, it makes sense that someone would want to help you out more after establishing an amicable bond with them, but in practice I’ve found that a little toughness goes a long way. Especially when dealing with customer service reps over the phone or trying to rectify an error by a big corporation, I find hurling a few lemons gives one more credibility. Admittedly, I’m not very good using the “lemon” technique, but I hate feeling like a pushover so I sometimes put on my “attitude” and get serious.

But I think the problem with lemons is that even though I might walk away with a marginally better result, both parties end up feeling worse after the conversation. It takes me a good 15-20 minutes to get out of the post-lemon funk. Maybe the saying actually should read:

“YOU get more with honey than with lemon.”

  • Are there specific situations that call for either lemon or honey?
  • Does it have to do with the type of person on the other end?
  • Do you think that honey is always better?
Please add your thoughts!

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