A few months ago I ranted about a poor customer experience I was having. It attracted a fair amount of attention (and weirdly ‘likes’) and the company took ownership and resolved.
More than any time in history you have a voice to hundreds, if not thousands of people.
You have the ability to contribute.
To share what matters most.
Sadly, most of the time we use our social media voice to say “here look at me”. Which is all good, but if it’s all we do we are missing an opportunity.
An opportunity to be authentic and encouraging and generous.
A unique opportunity to speak life into others.
The post that I wrote about customer service was one of the more liked and commented posts I have had in a while. I would like to think it was because of the parts I wrote about becoming a grumpy old man, but sadly I suspect it wasn’t. I’m not sure it was generous or encouraging. Nor did it really speak life.
I blog because I decided I would use my voice and story and words to speak life into others, but you don’t need to blog to speak life into people.
It can be as simple as encouraging someone.
Why not do that today!
“You’re the nicest person on the face of the planet! Thank you for being so gracious” was the response to me from one of the staff at a partner organisation, that does amazing work in bringing clean water to millions of people. All I had done was make their life a little bit easier by not pursuing a minor issue, and I received that response.
Of course I’m not “the nicest person on the face of the planet,” and I’m not sure any individual can be.
But for a brief moment, when I read the email…
I felt like I was!
Her comment reminded me, that in every email interaction, we have the opportunity to make audacious statements that makes the recipient feel incredibly special.
Even if it’s just for a moment.
I was fading. The motivation to finish strongly had all but gone. My pace had already faded from run to jog, and I was on the verge of walking home.
At just the right moment I saw a middle-age Māori guy waiting for his bus. As I jogged toward him, we lift our heads to acknowledge each other, as guys do. As I continued to labour toward him something profoundly unexpected happened.
He held out his hand for a high-five.
I took it.
And my jogging turned back into a run.
And I ran all the way to my finish point.
And all it took was a little bit of encouragement from a complete stranger.
I pondered encouragement as I ran home.
Encouragement can be as easy as a high-five.
Encouragement can motivate people to go the distance.
Encouragement always builds courage.
So go on, right now, encourage someone! Send them a message. Or a text. Or just walk down the hall and give them a high-five.