Change Someone’s Day in Ten Seconds

“Climbing the Corporate Ladder” – IDS Toronto 2015 Exhibit

People won’t always remember you, but they will remember how you made them feel.

Above everything else, I believe in treating people with respect. It doesn’t matter if its your boss, the cleaning lady, the CEO, the gardener, an elderly woman trying to cross the street, a young child- treating everyone equally with kindness and respect just goes such a long way.

The janitor at your office is mandated to clean up after you, and your direct reports are mandated to do whatever tasks you assign them- its their job- but something as simple as smiling and saying “Thank you” goes way further than you know. Everyone likes to feel appreciated for what they do. Saying that you don’t have time to acknowledge their presence is nonsense- it doesn’t require any extra time on your part at all.

I know this because it affects me the same way. When people treat me kindly or make me feel like I matter, I remember it, and it can boost my mood for hours. And when people do the opposite and put me down, I remember it, and it can ruin a perfectly good day in a second. The same principle applied to when I was working my first summer job at 14 years old behind the counter at McDonald’s, and it applies when I am a concierge for UHNW clients at high profile company events. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you do- the concept of respect is universal.

I was in the restroom after work hours at the office one night, and there was a lady doing maintenance cleaning. Before I exited, I stopped and said, “Thanks so much for cleaning up after us. We really appreciate it.” And she returned a big smile and a “You’re welcome.” It made both of us feel good, and the exchange took all but ten seconds.

I have immense amounts of respect for people who work in blue-collar or pink-collar service jobs, having been one of them for many years. In fact, even though I now work in a highly corporate office environment, sometimes I find myself working on the front lines in client-facing roles where my years of customer service experience comes in handy. When it comes down to it, I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty.

But it doesn’t matter what you do or where you work in. We’re all the same underneath- we’re human.

Everyone wants to be successful, but was it really success if you step on other people to get to where you are? We all have our off days, but taking a minute to appreciate those around you and those who serve you will go further than you could ever imagine.

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2 thoughts on “Change Someone’s Day in Ten Seconds

  1. Grace says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. We all want to feel appreciated, and it’s so important we remember to let others know how much we appreciate them. Saying two words – Thank you – really does make a difference. During one of my temp assignments, I had the privilege of working with people who demonstrated and expressed their appreciation towards each other. One of the project leaders really knew how to say thank you and show respect for each team member. It showed that she understood that no one gets to where they are without the support of others. And that made me respect her even more and made me want to work even harder. I learned a lot about leadership and just being a decent human being by watching and listening to how she treated people Positive reinforcement really has a way of multiplying.

    • joyceyl says:

      That’s amazing to hear, Grace! Treating people with respect and exhibiting strong leadership can go so far in motivating the people around you. 🙂

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