Posted by Todd Smith
I’m excited to share today’s lesson because it captures one of life’s simple yet powerful truths. When you focus on others rather than on yourself, you make a positive difference in two lives—yours and the person with whom you interact.
When you are intentional about doing things that make others feel good, you create a special connection that accelerates new relationships and nurtures existing ones.
The Values of Making People Feel Good
Recently, I talked about habits we have that bug people and the damaging effect that can have on our reputations. However, doing things that make people feel good is quite the opposite. Not only does it brighten someone’s day, but it’s a positive reflection on you and enhances your reputation.
Let’s look at a couple areas in your life and see the results.
Because I have seen the results of reciprocal goodwill in action, I am intentional in my own life about doing things that I know make people feel good.
Ten Ways to Improve People’s Lives
When you make people feel good, you enhance their self-image and give them energy, hope, and confidence. Below are ten simple ways you can make people feel good.
1. Encourage. What sunshine and rain do for flowers, encouragement does for humanity. Regardless of one’s position in life, everyone needs to hear words of encouragement.
“Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.” — Robert Cavett
2. Compliment Sincerely. You can compliment someone for a job well done or on an admirable characteristic you have noticed. If you can’t do it in person, don’t hesitate to use another means, like a card, thoughtful email, or text message.
3. Praise Publicly. Boost someone’s confidence by commending their efforts in front of others, either verbally or in writing. You can also do this with people who serve you, such as a store clerk, waitress, or receptionist who has gone the extra mile to assist you.
4. Listen Thoughtfully. Focus on listening, not just hearing. When you are an attentive listener, people sense your care and concern and are comforted that their feelings and experiences are validated.
5. Serve Willingly. The next time you notice that a co-worker is under the gun and needs a hand, volunteer to help. Or offer to assist someone who has a task to do that they don’t want to do. In doing so, you will help them see themselves as worthy of your efforts and attention.
6. Show Genuine Interest. Ask about something important to them and concentrate on what they have to say. Remembering and commenting on their hobbies, sports, vacations, or family at a later date will prove that you have a sincere interest in their lives.
7. Express Love Unselfishly. Every person has a primary love language that dictates the ways they prefer to be loved. When we understand and love people the way they need to be loved (not just the way that satisfies our needs), it draws them closer to us and us to them. See a post from my wife Joy about this subject here.
8. Make a Friendly Call. It doesn’t have to be an important or special day; just call to let a friend or family member know you are thinking of them. Asking how someone is doing is always appreciated.
“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” — William James
9. Give a Gift. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be a small bouquet of flowers or a card. In this department, it’s most definitely the thought that counts. Hallmark has captured the essence in their advertisement: “You cared enough to send. . .”
10. Smile Often. A sincere smile never goes out of style; it can mean different things to different people. A smile can brighten people’s day in an instant, and they’ll appreciate that you made the effort to acknowledge them.
Starting today, I encourage you to start doing the things like those listed above that make people feel good. If you need some additional inspiration, be sure to read my post 25 Unexpected Ways to Make Someone’s Day. If you have some suggestions of your own, please share them in the comment section below.
Taking the time to make others feel good may be one of the most gratifying things you do; you’ll experience great rewards when you are the one responsible for positive changes in someone’s overall demeanor and attitude.
Attitude, Career, Communication, Creativity, Emotions, Encouragement, Health, Hope, Leadership, Likability, Personal Brand, Recognition, Relationships
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.
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