As I was backpacking around the world, leading expeditions in my 20s, my grandmother back in St. John’s, Newfoundland, was always eager to hear from me on how I was doing.
At one point, she actually told me to call her collect from anywhere, so I did. I called her from a remote village in the Himalayas, from an apple orchard in New Zealand and from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
She was shocked and thrilled each time I called. She would tell my parents how it made her day. The calls were short and usually revolved around the weather at home and where I was, but it didn’t matter. She appreciated the calls so much that each time I called, when I got back to my mailbox there was usually a $10 cheque from her saying thank you for the call.
Think of a time someone made you feel great. It probably wasn’t because they gave you a huge or special gift. Most likely it was a small gift or no gift at all, just an action or an experience.
Here are 7 ways to make someone feel great today:
1. Write random notes of thanks and support: We all love to be cheered on and we all love to be appreciated. An easy way to show encouragement and gratitude is by writing short notes expressing your feelings. This could be on a post-it note on a colleague’s desk or a well-written Thank You card sent by snail mail, it doesn’t matter. The act of doing is what’s most important.
2. Find out how they like to be appreciated and do it! Discover how they like to be appreciated. Do they thrive on words of affirmation or do they like gifts? See the post Are You Showing the Right Appreciation at Work to learn about the 5 Languages of Appreciation.
3. Drop by: The simple act of visiting someone shows you care about them. It could be spending time with a new team member to check in with them or it could be visiting an elderly family member.
4. Make a memory: Our fondest memories, the ones that make you feel good inside and bring a smile to your face, come from experiences. Every fond experience you have had, someone had to create it. It doesn’t have to be as grand as concert tickets to their favorite artiest. It could be a morning out of the office, working a meaningful volunteer project, helping others in need, or a spontaneous game of nerf dodge ball in the office, or taking someone to an event for the first time. (RELATED – Quality Leaders Make Memories)
5. Offer help: I believe the most powerful words that bonds teammates is “How can I help you”. To someone stressed out or in need, there are no sweeter words. By offering your help, whether they take it or not, it shows you care for them. Often times, people want to jump in and help someone who is struggling without asking what they really need help with. If you don’t know, just ask.
6. Practice the 30-Second Rule: John Maxwell, the prolific leadership author and speaker, suggests that within the first 30 seconds of a conversation, look to say something encouraging to the person you are speaking with. By doing so, you will give others the Triple “A” treatment: attention, affirmation, and appreciation. When you add to others, they will be drawn to you.
7. Give them food! We all love food. Find some way to get a person some type of food they love. You could pick up an extra coffee in the morning, or bake some homemade cookies, bring in take-out or give them a gift card to their favourite restaurant or perhaps one that you like.
Bonus: If you know someone with young kids, offer to babysit!
Part of your job as a leader is to help make people feel great. The better they feel, the better they will perform and become overall better people.
How has someone made you feel great? Share your story in the comments below.
Action: Try the 30 Second Rule with the next 4 people you have a conversation with.
Until next week… Embrace the Adventure
Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author and Ironman competitor.
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© 2016 Shawn Stratton. All rights reserved.