While we seem to be doing a whole lot of communicating, we seem to be struggling with connecting.
I have no doubt that this is impacting our lives and our business.
But, how do you have more connections in your life on a daily basis and to what end?
I would like to share three simple things that I do, and I try to do them as much as I can every day.
- I look people in the eye and smile a warm, friendly smile.
- I say a big hello while I’m smiling.
- I pay as many people as I can a sincere compliment.
Losing our human touch
To say my life changed as a result of this is certainly not an understatement.
What really changed was the incredible connection that I’ve had with both complete strangers and friends alike.
Try doing these three very simple things yourself, just for one day, and see how you feel at the end of the day.
They sound simple, but they actually aren’t because most of us have lost the ability to do these simple little “humanism” acts on a daily basis as we toil about with our busy lives.
How a banana made a difference
One day, I was on a short flight. Just as the cabin crew were about to close the door, an elderly man came running onto the plane.
He was out of breath, he clearly didn’t speak much English and he was quite flustered. He took the seat next to me and settled in as we got ready to take off.
Once we were in the air, I opened my bag and pulled out two bananas.
I offered the old man a banana and he stopped and looked me in the eye and got all teary.
In very broken English, he said that he was a very long way from home, he was feeling very alone, unsettled, and afraid, and here a complete stranger was offering him some food.
He suddenly felt that everything would be okay – which in turn, made me tear up. It was, after all, just a banana.
The reality of life is that we have become so busy, so preoccupied, so distracted, that most of us don’t even stop to make eye contact with other people, let alone offer a simple act of kindness.
But when we ignore any perceived embarrassment by, for example, walking into an elevator and saying ‘good morning’ to everyone in there, we have the ability to positively impact people’s lives.
The life we impact the most is our own. I was reminded of that by offering an old man a banana.
Why bother doing these things?
What a great question.
I know that the more I look people in the eye and smile warmly, the more I say ‘hello’ to complete strangers, the more I offer a sincere compliment, and the more I simply try to make every interaction with another human being meaningful in some small ways, the more my life becomes immeasurably happier.
This, in turn, has a major impact on everything in my world.
Andrew Griffiths is a Cairns, Australia-based serial entrepreneur and the author of 12 books on starting, managing, and growing small companies. He is a founding mentor in the global entrepreneurial programme, Key Person of Influence, and presents around the world on small business, consumer trends, entrepreneurship, and publishing. To share your thoughts with us on this article, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared on inc-asean.com.