Many of us are familiar with customer service situations that were seriously blown by someone, but the way in which the problem was corrected caused us to think even more positively about the experience than we might have if the problem had not occurred in the first place.

Take, for instance, the example of “Elizabeth,” a trainer and speaker who travels for her clients around the country to provide seminars that are held in conference hotels. Elizabeth always closes her seminars with a personal story about how she has overcome her tendency to think negatively about difficult circumstances. To illustrate her point, she tells a story about planting “corn” (positive things) into her mind versus “poison” (negative things). As a visual reminder, each ...

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