Influence is about caring and that can only be truly accomplished by physically showing up. Personal caring is rapidly disappearing from our lives through the distractions of technology and the cluttered culture of constant media. We don’t have the time for personal encounters and the warmth of the personal touch.
Here’s some thoughts on showing up and caring that might just cause someone else to stop and care.
Care about the unnoticed. Yes, you have to be nice to the boss, co-workers and mother in law, but what about the janitor, receptionist, or the grocery clerk? Simple caring questions like, how was your weekend or vacation? – how’s the kids or parents? – why are you limping or holding your head? These simple acts of observation show people you see them in places where they thought they were unnoticed – the heart. They are given a chance to see that they have worth – the kind God sees in us with endless grace.
Care how you communicate. Is that email really appropriate? Are you giving those fiery messages and social media postings a second glance before you push the send button? What about that questionable joke? Are you willing to take the time to encourage others with a real conversation face to face, or verbally on the phone? What’s your tone of voice like when communicating to others? Is it demeaning, arrogant, dismissive? I am so guilty of this. My French ancestry blood pumps and before I know it my tone and volume erupts with fury. I must ask for grace regularly.
Care how you reward people. Years ago, the cherished trophy for retiring employees after a lifetime of work with a company was a gold watch. I know of one company today who for years gave their employees a canned ham for Christmas. It became such a routine that it become a joke. The once thoughtful act became thoughtless. Where was the investment of caring, time, and thought of the leadership? Study how you like to receive praise, encouragement and physical gifts or rewards. Gary D. Chapman has written a great book on the various love (caring) languages are worth your time. Are you willing to give encouragement and attention on their terms and not yours? Be interested and develop, nurture, and increase your caring.
They won’t care until they see you do.