Have you ever stopped to realize that you can be a better person if you know what is going on in the lives around you? At work you can interact better with people whether they are your peers, staff, senior managers or customers if you know what each of these people are going through on the job and in their personal life.
This epiphany came to me this morning when I realize the value of a card I sent a client telling them I was thinking about them during a difficult time they are going through. But honestly, if the client had not felt comfortable telling me that their family member was ill, I would never had known, thus a card never would have been sent. I was only able to act because I had information at hand.
I remember managing individual staff that seemed out of it and/or unfocused, and instead of jumping to performance management 101, I focused on the person until I learned the root cause. I often made accommodations to help them through their challenges, but the offset was it allowed me to be a better person as a result.
Too often we have our noses stuck to our phones reading about one thing or another and forget we are getting information we can act on that builds our individual relationships. But the point I am trying to make is having information is the first step. Sometimes it is fed to us through an application and other times we need to seek it out through conversations.
Once we have information, do something with it!
I attended a company picnic recently and met a lot of people. Yet three of them took a little time to have a short conversation with me. I swirled around in my mind the content of those three conversations and a few days later reached out in LinkedIn to invite them to connect. I used the “Note” section to thank one of them for remembering something I tried to do for them at a past company. To another I thanked her for the impact she is personally making on the lives of employees in her division. And to another I offered help to engage his son in an organization he could benefit from and this man wanted him to join. Not only have I improved these three relationships, I did it with some personal impact.
So the next time you are talking with someone, find out something about what is going on in their lives. Then find a way to deepen your relationship with them using what you have discovered.