I find the Farmers Insurance “Hall of Claims” commercials to be especially well done. They’re clever and humorous.
If you’re unfamiliar with the commercials, they show actor J.K. Simmons walking prospective clients through the fictitious Farmers Insurance Hall of Claims—a large room filled with monuments paying tribute to the company’s “most unbelievable but true claims.”
The monuments include such bizarreness as the Trucksicle (a pickup truck that fell through the ice when an overly confident fisherman drove onto an insufficiently frozen lake) and the Billy Goat Ruffians (a goat who repeatedly rammed his head into the door of a shiny SUV, unaware that he was headbutting his own reflection.)
The commercials always end with J.K. Simmons delivering Farmers’ trademark tagline: “At Farmers, we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”
Their tagline implies that customers can rely on Farmers Insurance because they’ve got experience. As consumers, we value experience. We want our ailments to be treated by experienced doctors. We want our cars to be repaired by experienced mechanics. We want our finances to be managed by experienced accountants.
We want experience because experience equates to trust—an important component of meaningful relationships. We need to trust that the other half of the relationship knows what they are doing. The more they’ve seen and done, the less likely they are to make a mistake; and the more likely we are to trust them.
Experience comes with time. The longer we do something the more experienced we become. But an underlying assumption accompanies the trust we place in experience: We trust that mistakes won’t be repeated.
Repeated mistakes become bad habits and relying on people with bad habits is ill-advised. Good teammates understand the difference between making mistakes and making repeated mistakes.
Mistakes happen, especially when we are growing and trying to expand the parameters of our comfort zones. Mistakes are part of the process. But the experience gained from dealing with those mistakes should equip us to prevent them from happening again. In other words, we should learn from our mistakes and vow not to repeat them.
You don’t have to be experienced to be a good teammate. But you do need to convey to the other members of your team a commitment to not repeat your mistakes or the mistakes of anyone else on your team. That type of commitment requires heightened awareness and tremendous self-discipline—two benchmarks of a person who cares.
Good teammates know a thing or two because they care about more than just a thing two.
Feel free to let the Farmers Insurance jingle play in your head now. We are Farmers Good Teammates! Bum ba dum bum bum bum bum.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.