Thursday, March 22, 2012

Man In The Corner Shop

Do we ever notice the people around us as we walk by in our fast-walking-never-enough-hours-in-the-day corporate lives? Do we appreciate what others are struggling with; or, are we convinced that we are the center of the universe and therefore no one could possibly understand what we're going through?

Connection Moments
I'm a firm believer that simply saying “hello” can make a difference, if only for a moment. No, that's not a breakthrough piece of wisdom. But it is a way to completely level the playing field in every walk of life. No one has a fancy title or enormous power when two people make eye contact, smile and exchange a hello.

However, people (read here => your employees) remember kindness, particularly if it comes from an unexpected source (read here => you and I).

I get caught up in my own “stuff” all the time. You might as well. What impression are you making when you blow by that stranger on the street? What about that employee whose pay grade is different than yours? What if they’re the same person and you (or I) never realized? Our hectic calendars don't seem nearly as important now, do they?

An Unbelievable Opportunity
So many people are watching us each day. Many leaders convince themselves that this reality means they should hide in their office or only provide prepared remarks. Others of us recognize all of those watching eyes as the greatest opportunity in the world. Imagine, a captive audience everyday that you can role model the exact behaviors you want to see? It doesn’t get any better than that, but sadly too few leaders embrace these moments.

How About You
Are you hiding in your office again today? Or, have you decided that you are going to actually be a role model and say hello to the man in the corner shop as you pass by?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of threadspot


  1. Jay, thank you for this inspiring blog post about the importance of remembering to acknowledge the people we see during our workday. You inspired me to take a few seconds during my busy day and say a simple and authentic "hello,how are you?" to people.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Maria. It's amazing to me how such a small act can make such a big impression sometimes!

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