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How You Treat Others


How you treat others determines service—


From the Bench

Sometimes it is not what you say

T HE LADY was upset with me. She had been given a citation and I was explaining the law to her. She had a 6-year-old with her and the child could tell she was upset. Her arguing was upsetting the child. I again tried to explain what the law said and that I was obligated to enforce the law. I told her if she did not like the law, she should talk to her senator or representative; they write the laws, all I do is apply the law.

The child, sensing the anger in her mother, started to cry. I keep a box of lollipops on the bench, so I offered one to the child, since it is difficult to cry with a lollipop in your mouth. Now the mother was having a hard time being mad at me, because I had done something nice for her child. How she felt about me changed.

Quite often I have disruptive children in the courtroom, and most of the time, if you give them a lollipop, they quiet down. A child really does not want to be there; they would rather be out playing with their friends. Giving a child a lollipop changes how the parents feel about the judge and the court.

Sometimes it is not what you say, it’s how you make people feel that’s important. People do not remember what you said or what you did; they remember how you just made them feel. How many people do you know that you do not like, but cannot tell someone just why? How many people do you know you like, but cannot tell someone why? I believe how you look, and how you make people feel, determines how others feel about you. It works both ways.

I know people that always complain that others are always rude to them and they never get good service. If they would just take a step back, look themselves and how they act, they might see it a little differently. Maybe our body language or what we just said caused a bad feeling. Could that be the reason for bad service? Is it because of ourselves?


Lesson: People always remember how you made them feel.

Lessons from the Bench, a local newspaper article by Judge Quentin Tolby, Pro Tem.
Used here by kind permission.