For the last 18 months, I have had the opportunity to meet with people from all different backgrounds in many different organizations and businesses to work on the stuff that makes or breaks the bottom line—the people stuff. Whether I’m hired for customer service, emotional intelligence, or some executive coaching in professional presence and presentation skills, I’m working to increase awareness and help individuals start practicing skills that build relationships and break down walls (skills that are just as important as the technical skills that got them the job).
When I was in elementary school, I remember watching a motivational speaker and then learning that she didn’t always practice her message—in fact, she sometimes treated people quite poorly I learned. On that day, I told myself that I wouldn’t get in this speaking/training business if I wasn’t willing to work at it and be true to my word.
My daily practice (to stay true to my word) is to “count the smiles.” Whether it’s a plate of cookies I deliver, a card I send in the mail, a joke I tell that works, some self-deprecation, or a moment of lightheartedness, I measure my true business ethics by the number of smiles I help create.
It is difficult to be angry, judgmental, or dismissive when you are smiling and laughing with others. No matter how simple it may be, I hope these smiles make a small difference in mine and other’s ability to listen, learn, and embrace each other.