…to make a small act of kindness. This is especially important to remember for people who do those routine things that often blend into the background.
Once, I thanked a receptionist for bringing me water while I was waiting for my client. She later told me that she was so happy that I thanked her that she called her mother to tell her.
I was pleased to hear this, but a bit surprised that this was a notable event for this young woman. My thank you should not have been a big deal; it should have been routine.
People are quick to criticize and slow to praise. The proportion should be reversed. Doesn’t it make you curious about why people resist offering small compliments? It doesn’t cost a thing and it builds equity that results in better, more satisfied employees.
Interestingly, some leaders think that they will appear “too soft” if they are perceived as “being nice”. That’s simply wrong. When people avoid the common courtesies, they only look like jerks.
Pay attention to this in the next few days. Observe how consumers treat waiters, supermarket staff, or salespeople in retail stores. Even if you need to criticize something, be courteous to the person, not rude.
Leaders can pave the way by emulating this behavior. Organizational cultures are influenced from the top, and when you take the time to be courteous, others will follow. Before you know it, your firm will develop the reputation of being a desirable place to work.