People come to you with different motivations, different personalities, different stories, different abilities. The right kind of attitude and approach makes it easier to maintain lasting relationships, boost their effectiveness, and ultimately create a relationship that is irresistibly great.
Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
And one of the most effective ways to serve others is through small acts of kindness developed into everyday habits. They may seem like insignificant things, but most of us can recall a time when a seemingly little thing- a kind word, a helping hand, has made a memorable mark and a big difference.
Here are some simple ways that I use to leave my mark in a relationship. I hope you can apply a few of them in your life. I would like to thank my dear friend Romina for the beautiful photos she took of my friends and I as we took a stroll near my home on a gorgeous warm day here in London.
1. Be a problem solver. Become known as a person who has solutions and answers–or at least who knows where to find them.
2. Remember people’s names. It makes them feel valued and leaves a great impression.
3. Make it win-win. Supporting others isn’t a zero-sum game.
4. Set high standards. Let others always see you doing and giving your best.
5. Give people your trust. It is the foundation of all great relationships.
6. Make your contribution greater than your reward. Always give a little more than you get.
7. Express deep appreciation for the ways that people add value to your life. People often have a hard time taking compliments, but acknowledging their strengths and work is a concrete way of making them feel good.
8. Make meaningful connections. Don’t always talk about work; ask about something personal that is meaningful and appropriate.
9. Treat people the way you want to be treated. This is the most fundamental rule of being with others.
10. Make people feel good about themselves. Acknowledge their gifts and talents.
11. Listen silently. Listen is an antonym of silent. Try to listen without interrupting.
12. Make eye contact. As the saying goes, the eyes are the window to the soul. When you can look someone square in the eye, you are saying you value the person and want to connect.
13. Catch people doing something right. And then praise them for it or otherwise show that you noticed.
14. Don’t let people down. Keep your promises and commitments.
15. Pay it forward. Model generosity and kindness always.
16. Dream big for others. Instill a passion in them that they can be more and do more.
17. Stay away from toxicity. Help others learn what is toxic in their lives and how to avoid it.
18. Don’t hesitate. Try to be the first person to reach out to someone when you think the person might need help.
19. Invite people to be part of a cause that is greater than they are. Invite them to dream big and play even bigger.
20. Go the extra mile. If you’re already in the habit of performing small acts of kindness, think of ways to go further. Extra effort makes people feel extra good.
21. Help people focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. Point out their strengths and unique qualities, and gently help them with the parts they are struggling with.
22. Give someone a special task and watch the person accomplish it. Let people know you believe in them by making them stretch. Valuing someone goes a long way.
23. Be a sounding board. Be available if someone wants to run ideas or think things through. Offer help when blind spots occur or new ideas are needed. Help take someone else’s thinking elevate to a new level.
24. Always bring something to the table. Resources, ideas, opportunities–even an article or a good quote can communicate your interest and investment.
25. Live every day like it was your last. Show that you cherish your life and those around you.
Imagine what could happen if we spend our time bringing value to others–even if we do one small thing on a daily basis to one person and then multiply that all over the world. Remember, the smallest gesture can make a big difference and leave the deepest mark.