Everyone, anyone can set about Making a Difference in their world.
What’s more, it fits perfectly with getting the best from your people, in ways they will enjoy and in ways which will help them and your business thrive.
But, to be clear, this is about more than that – it’s about a way of being in everything we do, with everyone.
With business getting more and more depersonalised, bosses who identify with their people closely are a disappearing bunch.
Yet this is a fabulous vision – change their lives – go for it. Make their day.
And translate this to the world outside your business you live in.
Top Ten Things About Making a Difference
So what is this Making a Difference stuff?
It’s about just being who you are and finding the positives in everything you do and anyone you interact with. This isn’t ‘Pollyanna’ish’ at all – it’s leveraging the good and great in you and making someone else’s day.
Why would you want to do that?
Because, above all, it will make you feel great. And, in business, it will really make your people shine – truly!
The best at Making a Difference…
- Have a Way of Being
They are able to be ‘good’ with people and see them for what they are: real human beings trying their best, to do their best
- See the Best in People
They really believe that all people have great potential and our role in life, be it with a colleague or an interaction in, say, a breadshop, is to help that along, in every interaction.
- Have Confidence
Having interactions like this needs confidence in their people skills and these people have it in bucketfuls. Yet, it’s subtle and not overt enough to be intimidating.
- Relate Easily
And they do find things in common with people. It comes easily and quickly. They ask the right questions and listen really well.
Rather than fix things for people, they help them find their own solutions. This, ‘building confidence in others’, is a great talent. They live a coaching life, facilitating growth in whoever they come across.
- Are Trustworthy and Honest
In all they do, they live and breathe trust and honesty with others. They hold confidences well and give feedback naturally and constructively.
- Follow Through
What they promise, they deliver – even to strangers. They can be guaranteed to come through with what people expect of them and if not, they are clear about what went wrong and explain, with apology.
- Go the Extra Mile
And more, those great at Making a Difference do exceptional things for others – they are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to do a little more. Even way after the event. In fact in some, it’s just the way they are.
- Are Fair and Consistent
What’s more, they are scrupulously fair. Such that, to their people, it’s a given – every time. Because it’s not what we expect nowadays – it has become exceptional – and our experts at Making a Difference do it very, very well.
- Like People!
Above all as it’s a crucial component of Making a Difference, the very best love people. They like helping them, turning them on and just being around them!
Ten Ways to be Better at Making a Difference
It will come as no surprise, but the way you consciously, deeply listen to what others have to say to you is vital. Ask secondary questions.
- Take Opportunities
Any and every interaction is an opportunity for this. Make the most of every chance you have for Making a Difference to someone – try once a day to start with!
- Be Nice!
Whatever the stresses and strains you are under, take a deep breath when you are going to talk with someone. Your personal state makes a difference – and they notice. ‘Respond‘ rather than ‘react’ – there’s a difference.
- Appreciate Others Efforts
People try hard to do their best. Start with that premise and you will be Making a Difference wherever you go. It’s often not the girl-on-the-end-of-the-phone’s fault – she’s probably having a tough day herself. It’s not the harassed shop assistant’s fault. Seek to understand.
- Say ‘Thank You’
WOW!! This is one winning strategy. There is a website somewhere that says the biggest difference you can make to anyone, anytime, is to say ‘Thank You’. (By-the-way, it makes you feel great too!).
- See Positives
There are positives in everyone. It’s not about them, it’s about you. The most aggressive and challenging person has energy! There are true positives in everyone. The best leaders find it and leverage it – for everyone’s benefit.
- Be Gentle
Courtesy, kindness, understanding – all words hardly befitting leading edge, tough & mean business managers. Ah, but that’s where you might be wrong. Business focus can be as sharp as you like, but that still means you treat people well. By supporting them when they need support, they will support you.
- Be Generous
In life there are little opportunities to give. Of time; of money; to things that need your support. Rarely will you be so short on resources that you can’t afford to support, in some small way, someone else.
- Accept Gratitude
Treat inbound thanks and gratitude well! By taking these ‘gifts’ in a gracious, appreciative way, you build relationships. People feel good around you too.
- Recognise Yourself
Don’t forget you. Making a Difference is about being accepting of yourself in all of the above. Take time to appreciate you and what you do – you are a truly great person. So accept it with good grace!
5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!
- Notice opportunities to do special good around you, however small, but make it happen. take the chance. You will be rewarded.
- Challenge your beliefs about people. Step back and see your people for what they bring, not for what they lack.
- Spread you gifts widely. Remember this talent of yours everywhere. Be the change – be the one Making a Difference to their day – spread some smiles. You can and will make them feel great!
- Notice yourself as you take this onboard. Be strong enough to tell yourself what great work you are doing here. Like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, we all touch people, every day and unbeknown to us we have changed lives for the good – often we will never know it.
- Think of ways to share what you do with others – be the model, and when you have the chance – tell others why your behaviour has changed – why you are being as you are. The more the merrier – together, we can change the way the world is, one interaction at a time!
We are richly rewarded.”
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