The invisibility of pure service, By Kurt Larsson

One of the fundamental rules of attractive service is the more your focus is on the person you are serving and the less focus is on yourself, the more attractive your service will become. Instead of serving someone to satisfy your ego, learn to enjoy the ease, efficiency and attractiveness of losing yourself into the service of someone else.

The more you serve on the terms the person you are serving wishes the more perfectly  you will match their expectations. This is not rocket science yet honestly, how often are we serving ourselves and our ego instead of paying attention to the one being served?
With regards to pure service, the person being served is the boss, but only as long as they treat you with respect and appreciation.

The Paradox of memorable service:
Think about a great meal at a restaurant. Good food, good friends and everything was there when you wished it. In fact, the only time you even noticed the service was when it became time to pay. Otherwise, the service was background for your wonderful evening. The focus of the evening was on you and your guests and everything else completely disappeared into your good time. Who wouldn’t recommend such an evening to others?

When service becomes noticeable
Often, the only time you will notice service is when something that is expected does not happen. Many years ago I used to sell a very special printer to Post Offices. We hardly ever heard from our customers and became worried about what they thought of our product. Yet, it seemed the more we asked them about the printer’s performance the more upset they became. Finally, one of the supervisors explained that the tellers were usually so busy with their customers that they only noticed their printers when they broke down, which was hardly ever. In fact, the less we asked our customers for feedback the more printers they seemed to order.

Pure service is balanced
There has to be a mutual and respectful balance between the server and the served to make pure service work. Looking down on someone else will ultimately cause resentment regardless of the side of the equation from which it comes.

The more you shine a spotlight on your own service the more unsure or self absorbed you can appear. Searching for approval and fishing for appreciation diminishes your level of service. Your inquiries will actually draw the attention from the experience of the person you are serving to you, thereby discounting the power and attractiveness of the whole service process. Remember ”obligation breeds resentment”.

Many years ago. A large American auto company announced with bravado that “Quality was job number one”. The more they talked this up, the more hollow it seemed. Talking up your service will often make people wonder why it is deemed necessary.

When service becomes slavery
Make sure that you serve only to the point that it feels valuable for both you and the person you are serving. If you begin to feel that you are being taken for granted, that all the extras you may be providing become expected, then the attractiveness of your service will diminish as well, leaving you both disappointed. As long as you can feel a positive and synergistic balance between the person you are serving and yourself then you are probably attracting positive attention to whatever it is you are doing.

Service as a reaction
Have you ever been in need of help, either involved in an accident or just enjoying figuring something out for yourself, only to have someone intrude and begin helping without your permission? I was once stung by a manta ray and although I did desperately need some first aid, I was surprised to observe the how the people around me reacted. Most were concerned for my welfare yet, there were a few that hardly even acknowledged my presence before beginning to do what they knew how to do. Although what they did probably contributed, I couldn’t help but feeling a little resentful that I was not asked as to how I wished to be treated. It felt as if they had to do something in order to fulfill some need to perform. That I happened to be there too was a lesser consequence. This, for me was another classic example of human doing rather than human being. In this case the need to do something (to feel better about themselves?) completely eclipsed the good work they could have done and the chance to serve me.

Doing less often insures more success.
The more you make service about the person you are serving the more you can relax into knowing that it will be appreciated. The more you can remove yourself, meaning your ego, from the service equation the more the other person will have nothing to reference but their own experience. It then becomes self evident that the more the person being served is focusing upon enjoying his/her experience the less risk there is of them getting upset with you.

Tips to Increase the purity of your Service:

  • Ask questions. Is there an easier way to get the information you need than by asking the appropriate question and then listening closely to the answer? Is there a better way to show your professionalism?
  • Listen with all your senses and gather as much information as possible. The more you understand what the person you are serving needs, wants and wishes, the easier time you will have to provide it.
  • Serve with respect and balance. The more you treat the person you are serving as an equal the more you invite them to return the favor. This will also go a long way to avoiding feeling like a slave. Should you begin to feel like that ask an appropriate question or comment out of your own feelings, for example, ”It feels like I am…” By commenting from your own feelings you are exposing your vulnerabilty and your humanity. Often the response to this will either be a quick apology or… a confirmation that you are, in fact, in danger of becoming a slave.
  • Give a little more. Providing an unexpected little extra is a great way to multiply the impact of your service. Usually the less it costs you, the more it is appreciated. For instance, making a spreadsheet of all the variables in a project may be very easy for you and an absolute nightmare for your client. Can you imagine how much would that little spreadsheed would be appreciated and talked about?
  • Avoid questionnaires. Now that just about everybody wants your feedback on the slightest bit of service they offer, ”to further improve service”, it is no longer unique or fun. Instead develop your capacity to gain feedback while serving, both by sensing how your service is being received as well as asking a few appropriate and well placed questions during the process. Calling someone back with an automatic survey now virtually guarantees destruction of all the Good Will you have just created.
    Who would recommend that?
  • Make it light and enjoyable. Service should be easy, efficient and enjoyable and should not require any effort. Feeling that you must serve or sensing that you are forcing something is the best sign that something is out of balance.
  • Understanding creates value. There is so much information available now that just knowing something has very little value. Value is created or added when the person you are serving both knows and feels a difference. This is the key to understanding. The tell-tale sign to understanding is an ”Aha” moment. This is a sure sign that they have now taken that intelligent thought and embodied it. Now they can go into action thanks to your sensational level of service!

If you are interested in going deeper into how to serve others in a way that creates value and attracts customer loyalty you are welcome to contact us at

+(46) 708 736 375 or at All of our workshops and coaching are built upon these principles and working with us will give you first hand appreciation of how this level of service both works and feels. For those of you that run service or call centers please contact us about our workshop
”Service, your silent seller”.

Service is also the key to sensational bodywork!
For those interested in a crash course in service we can strongly recommend the Body Harmony Workshop being held in Stockholm this June 15-18. Great bodywork is based upon service, curiosity and listening with all the senses. Think of how many areas of your life this can apply.

There is also a free introduction to this workshop on Thursday 13 June.

About The Author


I am fascinated with what makes us humans ”tick”, especially when it comes to how we consciously communicate and express ourselves with our body language. My business background is in international sales and sales management, selling everything from automobile tires in Houston, Tx, to retail banking delivery systems in 20 countries. I have graduated from CoachU’s 3 year Coach Training program, been certified as an Extended DISC consultant and become a Certified International Body Harmony Teacher with over 20 years of ”hands-on” experience in bodywork. This rich and varied background combined with over 20 years of being an entrepreneur has blessed me with insights and experiences I never would have noticed in the corporate world. Mainstream business now seems to be waking up to the riches available from more conscious and responsible business practices. Expanding Understanding’s Sensational Soft Skills Toolbox , the books I have written and training I have developed now provide savvy decision makers and their colleagues measurable results and a more restful night's sleep. These tools provide an edge in consciously understanding, deliberately using and profiting from the most powerful communication tool available, our bodies. I look forward to meeting you on this path to mastery in non verbal communication.

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