I’m back! Today’s article may seem obvious. The thing is…IT IS! And yet someone needs to say it again because I think its importance is sadly diminished in today’s busy world.
So. What am I talking about? Kindness! It’s common sense but we all know how common THAT is. I think I have a pretty cool way to begin my point. I’m going to use a work example because it’s there that I got the idea for this post.
Was a graph really necessary? No. Could I have simply written it? Yep. Did I do it because I like drawing stuff and creating visuals? Absolutely!
Moving on…here are the words:
There’s a direct correlation between the level of kindness and friendliness that CLIENTS display and MY level of kindness, friendliness and how well I do my job. Actually, slight addendum; while they can display how they feel, I have to remain chipper on the outside even if I’m sad or pissed on the inside. (But that’s obvious.)
The thing is, this has a significant impact on EVERYONE!
Why is it that I, as an employee, have to remain happy despite the disposition of clients? Because every good employer knows that happy personnel = giving off a happy vibe to clients = happy clients = clients that spend money = clients that come back. It’s how the world works!
It doesn’t sound very mutual though. I can feel some of you thinking that I’m living in a utopian dreamland…and perhaps I am. But look; wouldn’t we ALL be happier if we spread the friendly vibes? I understand that we can be having a bad day. Trust me I REALLY get it. But by trying to be kind and friendly we receive kindness and friendliness in return. What does that do? It improves everyone’s mood. Everyone’s experience from the grocery store to the dentist’s office will be just a little bit better. For someone feeling really terrible, it can bring their day from unbearable to manageable. For someone feeling neutral it can add a ‘caffeine boost’ that nudges them into a bit of positivity. For someone already happy, this can be jet fuel for a really productive day that makes for a good memory. The point is that wherever we happen to be, it’s likely that we’ll elevate each other by engaging in collective kindness/friendliness.
I don’t think I’m asking a lot because sometimes a simple smile is all it takes. (Even with COVID, eyes and eyebrows are very expressive.) It can also be a bit of small talk at the cash or telling a stranger when they’ve done something kind for us instead of saving comments only for when we have a complaint. These may seem like tiny things but I’m coming to learn that the big things come from a collection of smaller things and depending on how those small things go there’s a pretty big influence on the bigger picture. I’m not saying we can fix each other’s problems with this but I do think we can uplift each other. The world needs some brightness and life is hard enough already.
Back to my work example:
I had a particularly intense day at work…none of us stopped. It was a go-go-go day with a lot of mental and physical effort. (I love that my job involves both by the way.) I woke up feeling pretty frenetic and I was worried that the Friday rush would send me into powerful anxiety. I’m happy to say that it ended up not being a huge concern. I became so involved that my other thoughts melted away: Quite a relief actually. I love being focused.
Before I go off into a tangent, here’s what made my day great: THE CLIENTS! Yep, as I mentioned, the mood of our clients has a huge impact on how I feel at work. It could’ve been a hell-ish-ly busy day that tired me out and made me wish I wasn’t working. Instead I was very happy to be exactly where I was in the thick of it. I didn’t think about being anxious to finish…I was fully present.
My 3 big happinesses:
It started with letting the groomers know that one of the dogs’ humans had arrived to pick them up. (I’m having trouble saying owner; it feels wrong. They’re living beings with love and personality.) Anyway, when I went in I saw another dog in a waiting cage. Tiny eyes coming from a small travel bag. Right away I knew this was a Yorkie; I have a spidey-sense now! Sure enough, someone else needed to pay for their dogs’ grooming. I asked if it was for the Yorkie and they said yes! Us Yorkie moms had a bonding moment and I asked if I could see little Jack before she brought him home. The woman obliged and my heart melted. It was an excellent start to my day. She let me hold the 2 month old Yorkie and he was TINY! A little black Pom Pom with adorable brown eyes, a tiny nosy and an itty bitty fluffy tail. I could’ve cried from joy! (750 grams!!! WHAT?!) Mia is my baby but we found her when she was 10 months old so I didn’t get the honour of seeing her as a tiny fluff-puppy. Holding little Jack transported my imagination and though I couldn’t take a photo, he’ll always live in my mind. The woman could’ve rushed off but instead we related and she gave me the wonderful pleasure of holding her baby!
Later on, a woman that I’ve met before came in with a large order; all quite heavy things that I needed to bring for her. We had a really happy conversation the entire time and it all felt natural and sweet. When the last bag was in her car and she was about to leave I said to her that she had a really beautiful energy and that I looked forward to seeing her next time. It touched her and it felt good to let her know. I don’t just want to complain about annoying/frustrating occasions, I want to let people know when they become a happy moment of my day. She had something special and I thought she deserved to know that.
This is a huge part of my point. Was it necessary to say that? Probably not. Did it make both of us happy and warm inside? It certainly did for me and by her vibe I think I can say the same for her. It may be small, but it has a lasting impact on the day. You never know if you’re going to be someone’s best part of the day. I’m not saying I was for her, because she was clearly a grounded and happily self-possessed individual, but why not try to be that piece? She was one of them for me.
This one follows beautifully after #2 because I think it was a bit of karma from having vocalized my pleasure with the previous woman. I helped a mother and daughter equip their puppy and older dog. This involved a blanket, toys, a leash and more. I was myself. I shared some things I use with Mia and Piko to help them find good and useful products. Not saying just anything just to make a sale but a thoughtful approach to meet their exact needs. I did my best and used humour- I was in a good mood! (I wonder why!) At the end by their car the mother thanked me and asked my name. (That’s either a good sign if they hope to see you again or a very bad sign because they want to see your manager or boss. In this case it was the former!) She even asked me to thank my boss, the owner of the store, and tell her that they love the place, the energy and the kind and helpful employees. They come from a bit further away and instead of going to the closest pet shop they return here because we have something special. I thanked them and absolutely told my boss who truly deserves this kind of feedback. Did they have to take an extra minute to thank us and share how they feel? No. But in the end they left with a smile, I left with a smile and my boss soon had a deeply satisfied smile as well.
Spread the happiness peoplz! It makes a big difference!
What small thing did someone do for you that uplifted your day?