Not everything that can be counted counts …

This was just 2 weeks ago I was flying a domestic flight in India from Pune to Chennai.

A packed flight where I noticed these four young flight persons working so hard to ensure everyone is served well.

The flight announcement caught my attention when one of the attendants ended by saying, “we are globe trotters, first-aiders, born leaders and home makers”.


Later I asked this person, “what do you mean by homemakers”?

She said, “something like taking care of our families but at the same time earning our livelihoods.”

“Amazing, and how’s your day today?” I asked.

“It’s good sir, sometimes we have to work 14 hours a day but it’s ok, we learn to put a smile on our face”.

To this I said, “you all are doing a wonderful job, not easy.”


A few minutes later she came back with a pack of nuts and a handwritten note.

“Dear Mr Anand, we appreciate your compliment, After a hectic day compliments as such keep us going. Thank you so much for choosing Indigo. We would love to see you again.”

That’s it. No surveys to do, no further feedback form filling was requested for by her.


The fact that they were not after ranking and rating my experience made me write a note on a paper napkin to say that Indigo should be proud to have young women so dedicated to their work and so loyal to their brand. 5 stars to all of you.

When I handed the napkin back to these girls, I noticed a sense of joy in their eyes. Mind you they only got to read that note five minutes before arrival as they sat down when the flight was landing.


A memorable journey with Indigo.

And so much to learn from this fascinating experience about the naive idea of putting measurement before everything else.

Let us stop annoying people to give feedback to measure the quality of our services or tell the world on social media how wonderful we are as a company. Rather, learn to serve with such humility and selflessness that leaves people with no choice but to spread their experiences about your services.


The best gift is the one that comes without expecting.

The best feedback is the one that comes without asking.

An act of kindness is reciprocated with more kindness.

By the same token, an act of violence is met with even more violence.


We humans know how to reciprocate and it comes so naturally to us. Interestingly, neuroscience (neurone mirroring) is confirming what studies in culture and social psychology have long demonstrated to be true.


Don’t believe in science. Try this on your own.

Extend your hand for a handshake with someone today.

Withdraw before handshaking and watch what happens next.


Stop reducing every human experience to numbers.

Stop pestering people for feedback to meet some unrealistic goals.

Most people can feel between fake and real.

Start giving away without expecting anything in return.

Your KPIs will give you a lot more value when you learn to give without expecting.


Much to learn from these home makers and born leaders.


Keywords: KPIs, feedback, reciprocity

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