Something I’ve always stressed in my business and writings is the importance of people. No, that hasn’t changed with the change of the calendar, in fact we’ll probably talk about it even more this year. While I haven’t revealed my theme for the year yet, this month we’ll be talking about being prepared. One of the best ways to deal with people is to be as prepared as possible for any and all possibilities and curve balls that could come your way. When you’ve taken the time to study language and facial expressions and learned how people generally are wired you’re immediately given a step up from anyone else who goes into a situation blind. In fact, one of the quickest ways to fail a job interview is to go into the job knowing absolutely nothing about the business that you’re applying at, and one of the quickest ways to hurt a friend or your partner is to intentionally check out of the conversation because it doesn’t interest you only to be called to the carpet later for an update or help with the issue and have no clue what they’re talking about.
One thing that I know many people have been avoiding accepting or understanding for a long time is that people care. People care if you listen to them, they care if you show up, they care if you’re OK, they care about the product or service you’re offering or the job you do. It hurts when people care because it means that we can (and probably will at some point in time) let them down; it hurts to care for the same reasons. We’ve been hurt and let down before, so we’ve learned to build walls to keep people at a distance. But I’ve seen lots of evidence that people are starting to realize that that’s not the way to live. Living in a box isolated from emotion, passion, fulfillment and purpose is just not that satisfying. So we’re starting to care again, starting to get emotionally invested, and starting to put our necks out just a little bit.
If you’re as on board with this as I am, there’s a simple way that you can build those relationships without sticking your neck too far: encourage someone. It’s when you say thank you and recognize them for doing something helpful, when you take the time to compliment them, when you take the time to really listen and just share a few words in support from your heart. It’s not painful to share a few words or minutes to encourage someone, and it can make a positive impact on you and them.