For many years, I have conducted customer service education for businesses across the country. Sometimes, the gig includes monitoring customer phone calls and following up with coaching.

When business owners ask me if they should tell their staff that their calls are being monitored, I reply, “Yes.” First, it’s the honest thing to do and the fallout of staff not knowing is not worth the benefit of hearing how they act when no one is watching.

More important is the “monitoring bounce,” which is a sharp improvement in customer service whenever people know that they are being monitored. Sometimes, it is possible to skip the customer service sessions and improve service just by telling employees that they are being monitored.

There is a similar situation happening right now in your school district. Faced with formidable opposition from someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo, the school board and the district administration are conducting an unprecedented level of community outreach meetings to bolster support for the notion that they are interested in your input.

In the past few weeks, the district has conducted or announced the following community events:

1) The first ever State of the Schools speech

2) Explanations of the Common Core program

3) Explanation of the district’s solar energy plans

4) Explanation of the fencing plans for schools

5) The “Why You Should Send Your Kids Here” event this Thursday

This is a remarkable series of meetings. And one cannot help but ask the question, “Why now?”

The answer is similar to the customer service phenomenon. Knowing that this is an election year and that there is one strong candidate who has a history of questioning and challenging, they are going all out to show residents that, “Hey! We’re really responsive! See! We want to hear from you, too!”

I attended two of the three solar energy presentations, mostly because I was curious as to what could possibly be said about a program that had already been authorized and with which you’d have trouble finding anyone who disagreed.

At both meetings, it seemed to me that there were more district people in attendance than residents, and there weren’t that many residents. There was nothing new presented and no substantive input from any of the few residents who attended. This was simply another PR opportunity.

But that’s what happens when you change the status quo. Want to see more positive changes? Start by voting for Steve Smith tomorrow.

And tell a friend.

Thank you.