Week three of my coaching take of the Fish principles, and this week, it’s Make Their Day. Whatever you do for a job, in fact, whether you’re employed, self-employed, not employed or retired, this is a brilliant mantra to have uppermost in your mind.
The beauty of Make Their Day is its simplicity. It could be a smile or a thank you just as easily as a meal in a Michelin starred restaurant, or an expensive gift. The keys to its success are observation, communication and kindness. You know this already, of course. I’m simply here to raise your awareness again, amidst all the hustle and bustle, the demands and noise, the distractions and attention-sapping nonsense that life throws at us, so we sometimes lose sight of the basics.
It’s good practice to develop an awareness of the moods of those around you. Develop your people-watching skills in a variety of locations, and see what you notice: it’s endlessly fascinating as well as educational! If you train yourself to look for the unusual, the out of place, the quirky, you’ll be able to get a sense of how best to make someone’s day. Look for something special to do.
It’s not all about what you have to say. Listen, really listen mindfully, to what those around you are saying. Quite often, body language will give away someone’s emotions more than their words. Sometimes the words they choose are a masterly understatement of their true feelings. Ask questions, sensitively, to find out what’s important to someone. Be ready to offer advice or help, but only if that’s what’s needed. You don’t always have to resolve. With excellent communication comes outstanding understanding. Then you can find unique and wonderful ways to make someone’s day.
We think we know how to be kind, and mostly, we do. A smile, a thank-you, inviting someone to pull out at a busy junction, holding the door open for someone. But aren’t these things also straightforward good manners too? This is stuff we need to be doing all the time, regardless. And I know most of you are experts. So how about upping the kindness ante? A card, sent for no reason, other than to make someone happy (more effective than texting), a phone call or even better, a visit in person (more effective than emailing), remembering a special date, a favourite film, flower, food (see listening above too). How could you thank someone in a very particular way? A review of their services, perhaps, a bunch of flowers, a home-baked cake, or something you’ve created just for them? There are many ways to demonstrate your kindness to others and make their day.
And the beauty and simplicity of all of the above is that making someone’s day makes you feel good too. You know that I’m all about win-win wherever possible, and this one’s just perfect! Go on, make someone’s day, and then let me know what you did…