Getting caught doing the right thing
Has this happened to you? Someone in front of you at the toll booth pays your toll? Gives you a good feeling doesn’t it? Or, you get your car serviced and the mechanic notices that your tires are low on air and takes the liberty to fill them for you? Or, you go into the fast food place and the server gives you an extra order of fries… just because? Or, as you get ready to go our and clear the snow on the sidewalk in front of your house and you notice that your neighbor is already doing it with his snowblower? Or someone sends you a book you’ve been dying to read? Or, your wife DVR’s your favorite show for you because she knows you’ll like it? Or, someone you don’t even know tells you that you left your car lights on? Or, the cashier as the supermarket runs out to give you the bag you forgot to take? Or the host at the restaurant calls you to let you know that you left your credit card behind and you know they had to go to some trouble to find your number? Or…well you get the picture. Now think about how you feel when these things happen. Think about how grateful you are, and how your faith in humankind is restored.
Don’t you wish you could bottle that feeling and take a whiff of it when you are feeling down. Or angry or just plain have lost faith in your fellow human beings?
Better yet, wouldn’t you love to be able to give that feeling to other people, especially your customers? Or even better yet wouldn’t you want to know that your own associates are always ready to get caught performing random acts of kindness?
Well, in the spirit of Robert F. Kennedy, channelling George Bernard Shaw, “Some people see things as they are and ask why? I see things as the could be and ask why not?” So, I ask you why not? Why not train your own people to work together in a culture of delivering random acts of kindness to your customers, your vendors and yes, even to one another? Start today by taking one small step. Start developing your own culture of doing the right thing for everyone you deal with. The best way to create the culture is to live it every day. As a company leader it is your responsibility to lead by example. Let your own team catch you doing random acts of kindness and after a while it will become part of your corporate culture.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions to get you started:
- Pick up the phone and call some of your customers and ask them how things are going? Ask them what they think you could do more of to better service them.
- Hand deliver your product to a customer. Sometimes when the timing is right, make a delivery yourself to show the customer how much you care.
- When your team is having a meeting with one of your customers, show up at that meeting, take part in the meeting and contribute in any humble way that you can. The key word being
humble” act as a member of the team, not the leader.
- Send “attaboy” notes to someone on your team who has accomplished something.
- Send a “keep your chin up” note to someone who has lost an order.
- Remember that everyone you work with has a family and that they are working with you to support that family. You are in the end responsible for the welfare of that family. Never forget that.
- Get to personally know a new member of your team. Talk to her and make her feel welcome.
- Communicate intensely. As the leader it is your responsibility to talk about your company, its’ history and its’ values. In a way that shows the company goes the extra mile for its’ customers.
- Treat everyone as equals, no matter what their position, they are all part of the team.
- Always speak highly of everyone, especially your customers. Nothing destroys a customer- focused company more than a leader bad-mouthing a customer. No matter how much trouble a customer causes you and your company never ever speak badly of him.
- The same applies to your associates and your vendors. Never speak poorly of anyone. Remember you are setting and example of kindness for others to emulate.
- Remember that your voice always resonates ten times more than anyone else in the company. You are the leader, people look to you for direction. Lead them in the direction you want your company to go in.
And one more, let’s make this a true baker’s dozen:
- When things get tough keep your head about you while others are losing theirs. Grace under pressures is the true sign of a great and kind leader.
And when you catch someone performing an act f kindness. Acknowledge it. Let them know that you know and more importantly appreciate them for doing it. It’s only common sense.