The 30 Fundamentals that make up the “ConnectSMART Way” describe how we want to run our business – the way we treat our clients, the way we work with each other, and even the way we relate to our vendors and suppliers. They’re who we are and they’re the foundation of our success. They drive everything we do, every day. Each week we focus on a different fundamental and discuss in depth.[/content_box]
Fundamental #19: Be Caring
Whether it’s a kind word during a tough stretch, a friendly smile each morning, or a helping hand in stressful times, show your compassion. Project warmth and compassion in all your interactions – with customers, with vendors, and with each other.
This is one of the fluffy fundamentals that can easily be discarded. One of the first things that comes to my mind is the Care Bears. I really hate those things! I know that they are a kid thing, but the sappiness of Care Bears and Barney had them forbidden in my house! For those of us who live in the real world it isn’t all about clouds, rainbows, and unicorns (sorry Kat J ). But there IS something that is really important about those obnoxious bears and the stupid purple dinosaur. It is a lesson that we tend to forget as reality hits us in the face. That is that it isn’t enough to just care. But you have to share. I am not talking about sharing your toys, or your lunch; but SHOWING that you care. We often find ourselves so caught up in ourselves that we forget about the others around us. We are so busy with our own problems that we often can’t see beyond our own nose to recognize when someone else needs encouragement. We become jaded and cynical and forget that relationships are a two way street.
Showing compassion and care does not mean that accountability goes out the window, but it does mean that I may need to adjust my interactions. I find that it is usually a lack of investment of time that causes people to feel that I don’t care. While that may be the furthest thing from the truth. It goes back to their perception being their reality. You aren’t going to find me getting all squishy as we work on this fundamental this week, because that isn’t what it is all about. How can you show someone you care? It is the same as with our personal relationships. It isn’t the big things. It is the little things that count. Like this fundamental says, it may just be that encouraging word, that extra minute when you don’t feel like you have the time. You have heard how much difference a smile makes. Every customer service and sales course tells you to smile before you pick up the phone. Even if the other party can’t see you, they can hear the smile in your voice. The inverse is also true. It is the little things that make people feel like you don’t care. The sharpness in your response, the tone of voice, the hurriedness – all contribute to people feeling like they are just part of the machine.
In a perfect world we would have all the time we need to make each other feel appreciated. Back in the real world that we all live in it is hard. Everything and everybody is vying for our time, so giving up even a little of it is difficult. We often don’t even take the time to think about how our words and actions will be perceived, yet this is a basic element of civilized society. You have all heard the adage that you get more with honey than vinegar. We usually think about this from the perspective of getting what we want, but the other side of it is what we are giving out. You have to give to receive. And what you give out does come back to you in some form or another. Some call it Karma, others the Golden Rule. From a selfish perspective when we care for others they care for us. But even if we don’t see the results of our actions when you make the conscious effort to be compassionate you simply feel better about yourself.
One of the great things about these fundamentals is that none of it is earth-shattering. Nothing that we talk about each week is new. We aren’t introducing a concept that you don’t already know and maybe even hold dearly. As we focus on them each week it is a reminder to not just believe them, but to be INTENTIONAL about them. We focus an entire week to help us to have many different opportunities to study each facet of what they mean to us. This week we get to focus on intentional caring and compassion. Not just the words and examples in the fundamental, but to find new ways to practice. So let’s looks for ways this week to show each other that we really do care – about each other, our customers, and our vendors!
P.S. In case you need a little bit of classical music to get you going this week here you go 😉 Click Here