Not everyone says the right thing at the right time all the time. I learned the hard way at age 12 never to ask a woman directly if she’s pregnant. And I know the always-correct answer to the proverbial question, “Do these jeans make me look fat?”
But while painful, the consequence of the bone-headed statements in those situations is limited to me and perhaps one other person — ok, then maybe all of her friends too — but you get the point.
The stakes are quite different for a corporate executive or other high-profile individual who represents an organization. In those cases, it can be difficult to separate statements made on behalf of the organization from personal statements — which inevitably become part of the customer experience. And then what do you do?