For some reason or another people don’t say please, thank you, or I’m sorry. These words are very powerful and can make a relationship stronger and can actually make anyone more successful in the long run. A couple years ago, Citibank had a campaign where random people would say thank you for mundane acts of kindness. Recipients of the simple thank you were shocked. People just don’t say thank you enough in this day and age. As a disabled person, I need a lot of help. I see getting help as a gift, not a right. In college, I had many assistants and often times I would just say, you know, your help means a lot to me, even though it was their job to help me out. That extra act of gratitude made much difference. I did not say thank you just to score points, I meant it, because without those people I could not get anything done. The same thing applies to the word please because the word please implies a sense of appreciation in advance. Even if you are the boss, it shows intimacy and gratitude both at the same time. Instead of saying, can you get me this report just say can you do me a favor and please get me this report? People want to be appreciated and made to feel special. In my experience, people go the extra mile for people who show gratitude and a sense of appreciation. These two simple phrases can get you far. I’m proud to say that I express gratitude every chance that I get to my friends, my family, and my colleagues. One time, my colleague in Omaha”Lisa Pelto”did some work for me that I didn’t ask for but I definitely needed. I sent her flowers with a thank you note. I was offered a speech in Mississippi and wanted to develop a relationship with the account rep and even though I didn’t get the gig, I sent him a package with chocolates and other goodies. Yes, some of my motives were marketing orientated but I truly wanted to thank him. If you make a mistake, apologize and just diffuse the situation and get on with it. People like humility. They understand that people screw up and the worst thing that you can do is deny that you made a mistake. We are not right 100% of the time. Mistakes are going to happen and that’s just life. Another reason to say I’m sorry is not necessarily to apologize, it’s to show empathy. If somebody is having a bad day, just say I’m sorry and offer your ear without being overbearing with advice. When I have trouble in my life or having a bad day (yes, motivational speakers have bad days. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to admit that, but who cares?), in that moment, the last thing that I want to hear is everything is going to be all right. Yes, that may be true, but at that moment in time, everything is not okay. In fact, in that moment, life sucks. I don’t necessarily want sympathy. I don’t want to hear poor baby that’s just condescending. (Unless it’s from an attractive young lady, then I would say, what problem?) Where was I? Oh, yeah. People want to vent and the easy way to let people vent is just to say I’m sorry or that sucks. My whole point is that people need to find a connection point (I have no idea where I got that term, but it sounds good, so let’s go with it). Be careful , what I am talking about in this writing should not come from a place of "it’s just part of doing business" -- it should come from the heart.
Timelapse - Lighthouse (Oct 2012) from IMK Digital Multimedia on Vimeo.