Correcting Someone

by A

I was at a mall today and the there was someone selling Tea. A friend i was with asked the saleswoman a question about tea. The saleswoman obviously had some knowlege about the tea but did not know the answer to the question. I did however know the answer. I tried in a polite way to let them both know the answer to his question. This was not a common knowlege thing, I actualy had spent a lot of time looking into the question in the past. I assumed that as she was a sales person on the subjuect, would want to know the answer.

After we left the sales lady, my friend told me I had acted rudely by correcting her in front of a potential customer and making her feel ignorant. That was not my intention, I figured it was probably a common question but a hard one, and one most people wouldnt know. I thought I was doing her a kindness by letting her know what I had learned.

Would it have been better to let her remain ignorant? Or was there a way I could have said this to make her not feel bad and at the same time helped to broaden her knowlege for her future benefit? Thinking back, I know she is probably working a minnimum wage job and may not care about her product. My intentions were good, but the most harm can come from the best intentions.

What could I have done differently? Would it have been better to let her answer wrongly, and just not tell her?

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Dec 26, 2011
Correcting Someone Politely NEW
by: Anonymous

There are ways to correct someone yet not come off as a know-it-all. You might have said,

"I know this question is not one that comes up often, but I did some research a while ago on Panamanian Teas for a Culinary Arts class, and while it's true that the tea is brewed in the bottom of a hollowed-our gourd, the actual gourd required comes from the Botswana Tree rather than the Oak. I thought you might find this helpful. Sorry if I barged in."

Jun 14, 2010
Tea Talk for Two
by: Anonymous

I think if the question was asked in your presence and you knew the answer then it was fine to reply with more information. If the clerk had simply said, "I don't know." then I would have talked with my friend later. I am a teacher and find that a moment for teaching does not come often.

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