Next week I have been asked to be part of an interview on the subject of Kindness, so I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be kind. In my work in customer service, I use a three column chart model that has a minus column (-), a zero column (0) and a plus column (+). Below, it says “Your Choice in Any Interaction.”
It refers to the impact we have on each person we meet. We can either discount them and make them feel invisible or less important than us or our organization (-). we can simply do the work at hand (0), or we can make what I call a human level connection (+), seeing them as a unique and special person in the midst of that interaction.
These interactions do not have to be long or involved. We can focus on another person simply by asking and remembering their name, giving them a compliment, asking something personal about them, or just sincerely thanking them for being there. I tell my audiences that I want them to leave with this simple 3 column model in their heads so that connecting with people on this level becomes part of their daily life. This, to me, is what kindness is all about!
I recently realized how much a part of my life this practice has become when Jed Liuzza, one of my clients, introduced me as the opening keynote speaker for the Oklahoma University Medical Systems Leadership Symposium this fall. After my formal introduction, he shared what had impressed him most was that I LIVED what I was going to talk to them about. He said the minute he picked me up for dinner the night before, I had begun asking him questions about his family, his goals, and his interests, focusing on him as a human being.
Then, when we entered the restaurant, there was a couple with a baby, and he noticed I stopped and talked to the little one and told the parents how blessed they were. Then, he shared, I immediately asked the server her name and gave her a compliment. Finally, when I was introduced to the rest of the team, I asked during dinner to have each of them tell about someone who had greatly impacted their lives. They all told touching stories, and this allowed for a much deeper level of sharing the rest of the meal. What he said he noticed most, however, was how each person simply “came alive” when someone truly connected with them.
I was deeply touched by his words as all of these things I had done unconsciously, simply wanting to acknowledge each person as a precious human being.
One of my beliefs is that every person who comes into our lives is a gift. We have the choice to either open that gift or pass it by. Sometimes, depending on time and circumstances, we may only be able to untie the ribbon, but other times we can dig down deeper to the true gift inside. However, if we ignore that gift, it is a loss for both us AND the other person.
Being kind to me is noticing and loving all those persons with whom you interact, and that day I realized I was modeling the message I was going to be sharing without even knowing it!
Mother Teresa said, “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.” In this new year, we all have the choice to make this our philosophy of life. I hope you will choose KINDNESS.
It seems like the older we get, the faster the year goes by, yet what a BLESSING it is to be alive! I realized I have lived 10 years longer than my father, 4 years longer than my precious husband, Charlie, and 3 years longer than my grandfather……AND I am still am not feeling old! 😉
I so love writing these letters – it’s like reliving my year in review, yet the most special thing of all is feeling such love for so many wonderful people in my life like all of you. How very grateful I am for friends, family, and clients all over the world! I truly believe life is all about relationships and the people we love.
I want to share with all of you a wonderful email newsletter article I received from Derek Mills in the UK. These are his ideas of many simple ways to “Pay it Forward” which is a wonderful message for this holiday season. Some of these are so easy and take no time at all but could make all the difference to someone’s life.
Top 50 Easy “Pay it Forward opportunities, today.
Image of “LOVE” courtesy of Nutdanai Apilhomboonwaroot at Free Digital Photos.net
1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighbourhood, office, school, etc.
5. Tell someone they dropped a pound/dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give it to them.
6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
7. Say hi to the person next to you in the elevator.
8. Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats!
9. Let someone go in front of you in line at the supermarket who only has a few items.
10. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump.
Two weeks ago I went to the annual Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Illinois. Throughout the two days of presentations from top level leadership gurus, the most prevalent message was the critical importance of finding purpose and meaning in one’s work.
An organization with a sense of purpose!
Bill Hybels, the lead pastor of this mega church, discussed the intangibles of leadership as the following:
• Self-Sacrificing Love
• Sense of Meaning
He used the term, finding your “White-Hot Why.” Instead of thinking about WHAT you do and HOW you do it, start with WHY you do it. He even suggested leaders should have the title of “Chief Meaning Officers!” He referenced Bob Buford who writes about moving from Success to Significance, finding a sense of purpose or mission in your work beyond making money.
Jim Collins described an Engaged Culture as having three elements: First, a sense of Service to a cause or purpose; second, a list of BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals), and third, Communal Success (all succeed by helping others succeed).
Horst Schulze says, “Don’t come to work just to work. Come to work to be proud of a purpose.”
Dan Pink tells us that purpose is one of the three big motivators for knowledge workers, along with autonomy and mastery. He writes:
“Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people–not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied–hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves.” (“Drive,” pg. 131)
Do you feel a PURPOSE in your work? Does your organization adhere to a cause larger than you or them? If not, what can you find in the work you do every day that inspires you and makes you feel as if you are making a difference? What is YOUR “white-hot why?”
I had the most delightful customer service experience at Publix this week. As I was waiting to get my sockeye salmon which was on special, I saw one of the regular butchers who always is happy and greets everyone with a smile and usually a joke. Since I rarely eat meat anymore, I had not seen him for some time on my grocery visits. But there he was –with a little display in the aisle sharing a new service Publix is offering for seafood.
I greeted him, learned his name, and told him how much I always appreciated his good humor when I saw him. Then this is what happened next:
I was so tickled that I asked him if I could videotape his “performance,” and he responded by telling me that he had several videos from customers on YouTube and one even from a customer from Brazil, and that, as a result, Publix was going to do a story about him in their company newsletter.
Not only is Gus a very good singer, but just like Johnny the Bagger®, he has definitely added HIS personal signature to his work!
Publix is lucky to have so many employees who care about their customers and use their special gifts to add more joy to the customers’ visits.
To learn more about Johnny the Bagger® and how he added his personal signature to his work, go to click here.
Golden Rule Recipe
Southwest Airlines has been a client of mine several times over the years, and through these experiences I have come to treasure my friendship with Colleen Barrett, Chairman Emeritus. When she retired from Southwest, I was deeply touched that she used her personal money and bought 3500 copies of “The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®,” the book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard, for every SWA employee. For several years we have exchanged Christmas presents — I love butterflies and Colleen loves hearts.
Recently I had some surgery and had to be out of commission for several weeks. Last week a large package came from Colleen — a framed portrait of the “Golden Rule Recipe” in SWA colors.
The Golden Rule Recipe
This is the recipe:
1 cup of Love and a half cup of Kindness
Add alternately in small portions:
* 1 coup of Appreciation
* 3 cups pleasant Companionship into which this has been stirred:
* 3 teaspoons carefully chosen Advice
Lightly fold in:
* 1 cup Cheerfulness, to which has been added a pinch of Sorrow
Pour with tender care into Clean Hearts.
Let bake until well Nurtured.
Turn out on the surface of Society.
Humbly invoke God’s blessings and it will serve all mankind.
What a beautiful expression of love and service that each one of us and our organizations can take to heart. And certainly Southwest Airlines does just that. Thank you, Colleen, for adding joy to my week and for the caring leadership you have provided at SWA. You and your airline have touched many lives as you live out the Golden Rule!
We have just completed a brand new video demo tape. Please watch and send us your comments. A huge thank you to Primeau Productions for the fine work they did for us. I hope you will enjoy it!
Is your organization experiencing overwhelming change, high employee turnover and low morale, increases in customer complaints, or burnout from having to do more with less? Are your employees struggling to find a balance between their work and home lives or do they simply need a boost of positive energy? If so, Barbara Glanz can help you! Clients say her exciting, motivational, action-oriented presentations have given their employees a new sense of direction, understanding, and hope.
A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year 2015!
My friend and client, Arlin Sorenson, the CEO of the HTG Group, suggests we ask ourselves the following questions as we think about the year gone by:
1. Key Accomplishments. What are all of the great things that you got done over the past year? Which of your goals did you really miss the mark on? Which one is your key accomplishment?
2. Relationship Development. What new relationships did you develop? Which relationships have you overlooked or not given enough attention to?
3. Learning. What opportunities to learn new things did you take advantage of? What were the new things you learned about yourself?
4. Mistakes. What mistakes did you make? What mistakes could have been avoided?
5. Time Management. How well did you manage your time? Are there any significant “time wasters” that you need to reduce or eliminate from your life?
It is great to start 2015 on purpose with a purpose, and one of the best ways to do that is to contemplate the past year and then make a plan for 2015 in each of these areas.
I also choose a theme for each year. Last year my theme was “Rebuilding Relationships.” I realize with all my travel last year I developed many new relationships including a new man in my life, yet because of limited time, I neglected some others, many of which are very important to me. So my theme this year is going to be “Renewal” — renewal of relationships, my faith, my family, my health, and my business. What will your theme for 2015 be?
HR Magazine, May 2014. recently quoted the following survey:
According to Gallup data, what percentage of employees are fully engaged at work?
And in another article in the same edition, they asked this question:
True or False:
Someone who starts showing up to work late, fails to return
e-mails, and takes many sick days is more likely to quit his or her job within a couple of months than other employees.
Thinking of your workplace, what would your answers be?
An Engaged Audience!
Sadly, recent Gallup data indicates that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are fully engaged with their work, and surveys of CEOs repeatedly show engagement as one of their top concerns. Employee engagement definitely correlates to retention, productivity, and financial results. My most popular speaking topic, for example, is “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™–Creating Workplaces of Passion, Purpose, and Productivity.” The need for employees to find purpose and meaning in their jobs is critical today.
Surprisingly, the answer to the second question is False! According to Utah State University research that drew on three studies and seven survey samples of students, managers, and other business leaders around the world, these behaviors, though often associated with quitting, were also exhibited by people who stayed. Again, these findings indicate a malaise and lack of purpose and mission in one’s work that are disturbing, both from a business and a human standpoint.
In my next few blog posts at www.barbaraglanz.com/blog/, I am going to share many very simple, no cost or low cost ideas to help boost employee engagement in any organization.
One of the most simple and yet most profound concepts I have ever discovered to share with my audiences can immediately change their perspective about the importance of their work.
When I ask people the question, “What is your work?”, I always get the very same response – either a job description or a job title. What I want everyone in my audiences to realize is this – we are all SO MUCH MORE than a job title or a job description!
When I ask, “What is your work?,” this is what I want to know: “How is what you do every day making someone’s life better?” THAT is your very important work.
It doesn’t matter whether people are emptying bed pans, carrying out the garbage, working on an assembly line, taking calls in a customer service center, or managing an entire team, they can find a way that their “work” makes someone’s life better. Think of how different that idea is from simply “having a job.”
That simple thought can dramatically change someone’s passion about what they do every single day. When one gets up in the morning and truly believes, “I am going to work to make someone’s life better today,” then their level of engagement is transformed, and it impacts the entire organization.
For more simple ideas from Barbara Glanz, the “Employee Engagement Expert,” go to www.barbaraglanz.com.
The Healing Power of Music
Last night I saw a most touching and powerful movie titled, “Alive Inside.” It is a documentary about one man’s passion for helping dementia and alzheimer’s patients by giving them headphones and an iPad with their favorite music on it. People who had been completely unresponsive or had not spoken in years simply came alive — and all for the cost of about $40!
Spearheaded by social worker, Dan Cohen, these deeply touching, life-transforming experiences were captured on film over the course of three years. You will laugh and you will cry, but most of all, you will wonder WHY insurance companies, nursing care facilities, and doctors alike do not support this inexpensive, joyful way to bring back memories and awaken senses instead of medicating these people to often become zombies.
This movie especially reminded me of my own passion as a young person. I was a pianist in high school and won contests all around the state, but I also loved people, so I did not want to be in a practice room for hours and hours a day; plus I realized I had the talent but was just not cutthroat enough to become a concert pianist. Thus, when I learned about it, Music Therapy seemed like a perfect fit for me.
At that time Music Therapy was a brand new field, so when I was choosing a college, there were only two schools in the country that offered it — the University of Kansas and UCLA. Having grown up in a town of 4500 in Iowa, going to California seemed like going across the world to me at the time, so I chose KU.
Although I loved my professors and the school, the first year was very discouraging for me. In those days in Music Therapy, they required you to learn to play every instrument there was. Having been extremely involved in my piano and often practicing 3 and 4 hours a day, I never had time to do this when I was younger. Therefore, it turned out to be a very humiliating experience. I will never forget how the girls in my sorority house AND my little brothers teased me when I was practicing “Merrily We Roll Along” on the saxophone for my final exam!
As a result, I ended up changing my major to Piano my sophomore year and then switching to English my junior year to become a teacher. I still kept my love for music, but, at least at that time, I thought I could give more back in the classroom and feel more sure of myself by teaching English and drama in high school and college. After watching this precious movie, however, I must admit that I am a little sorry that I did not stick it out. Watching these lives being transformed to find JOY and LIFE again was a wonderful blessing.
Now, I am thinking about how I can become more involved in this pursuit — buying some ear phones and iPods and taking them to local nursing homes and donating money to Dan Cohen’s foundation, musicandmemory.org. In the meantime, I am going to make sure that MY children have a list of all my favorite music because one day each of us may very likely find ourselves, just like so many aging people today, struggling to hold onto our pasts.
This precious movie proves that music CAN heal hearts and souls! Thank you, Dan Cohen, for the blessing you have brought to so many lives.
I attended the Learning Development Institute for Oklahoma University Medical Systems yesterday and can unequivocally say that your presentation was the absolute best that I have ever been witness to! I left with so many new ideas to try out in my department.
Thanks for everything you do. The affect you had on OU will be everlasting.
Andrew Martin, Radiation Therapy Manager
OU Medical Center - OKC
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No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down and lifting another up. - Jon M. Huntsman -