I have a good buddy Craig, who’s been in this industry a long time and we share a strong Christian faith. The other day we were talking about an opportunity he was given to deliver a message at his church in Houston. (You can see that HERE if you would like, his talk starts around 18:45 and is titled The Mindset Of Ministry.) I watched this last night and it got me to thinking about how this relates to our business life everyday.
My question to you is, what influence are you having on the people around you at work? Do you take the opportunity to connect on some deeper level to your employees, your boss, your suppliers, your customers? Is your job something you just do day to day or are you taking full advantage of your proximity to others to be a positive influence in their life?
I’m not saying to get your bible out and start preaching in the cafeteria, although that would be pretty cool. I’m not even talking about this from the faith perspective. We have no idea what people around us are going through. We also don’t realize sometimes what impact our actions and words have on others. Business runs at a fast pace these days and we are so busy that it is hard sometimes to slow things down and remember the human element of what we are doing.
When I was at Serta, Inc. I had a guy working for me that was making all kinds of mistakes. One cost us about $25,000 so I was pretty upset about it to say the least. He was in my office getting his butt chewed on a little when it came out that he was going through a divorce. I didn’t pause on that too long because I really didn’t want to get into it with him for several reasons. He left and I knew right away that I had FAILED to take an opportunity to show this guy some compassion and possibly encourage him during a very difficult time. I can’t even imagine how hard that would be to go through. About two hours later he came back to apologize again and made a comment that he wasn’t sure why he felt the need to come back into the “lion’s den” as he put it. I laughed because I knew why he was back. It was so I would have a second chance to get that right. (Craig tells a similar story in his video.) We talked for about an hour that day and then many conversations after that. He called me a few years later after I had left Serta to tell me what an impact that had on him, and he shared some incredible stories about his life today with his new wife and little baby girl. I am so glad I got another chance at that. Has this kind of thing ever happened to you?
I know that we want to be careful about crossing those lines at work with people from the HR perspective, but be on the lookout for those opportunities to connect. To assist. You never know when you are going to be the one looking for a little light to shine in your life.