Growing up it was always fun talking about visiting London, Paris, and Berlin. Not the European capitals, but the much smaller versions in southern Ontario in Canada. Southern Ontario is full of towns and cities with names taken from British, French, German originals. This is important trivia to remember when booking flights as London, Ontario also has an airport but it is not another smaller airport of London, UK.
To top it off, Canada is still part of the commonwealth and the Queen is still our ‘head of state’. Therefore, in many of our official logos there are similarities to the logos found in Britain.
So it is not surprising to me that someone in distress contacts the wrong emergency services. What I love about this story is that the control room of the Durham Police force in Durham, England, UK stayed on the line with the woman who had an intruder in her house in Durham, Ontario, Canada. And they English police force contacted the Ontario force, who then went to help the woman. Read more about it here.
What fabulous collaboration! But more than that, how wonderful it is that the control took responsibility to take action. They quite easily could have responded by making fun of the woman. Or simply said ‘wrong police force’ or gone as far as sharing the correct police force link ‘here’s who you should be talking to’ kind of response.
But they didn’t. They stayed in contact with the woman AND contacted the correct force to arrange help. They took responsibility and helped. This is the direct opposite of ‘that’s above my pay grade mate‘ type of response.
How we respond to others who engage with us is our choice. We can decide. This is true of our interaction with people in distress, but also with our customers and also with colleagues who contact the wrong team. How we respond says something about us as individuals, but also our organisational culture.
And culture is created drip by drip by drip.
The choice is up to us.