The easiest thing to do in life is to focus on yourself. Life gets fun though, when you truly start caring about others, and when they have success, it feels as if it is your own. Not because you don’t have a life, but to see the joy, the excitement, and all of the hard work paying off of that person, it feels as though you too just won.
This past week I made it a point to focus solely on others. To only talk about myself in a few sentences when others ask the typical question “well what about you?” This experience showed me how easy it is to make others feel special, and to make them the center of attention. The best example I can give is of a friend, we’ll call Fred, who is thinking about starting his own business. We were on our way back from Denver, and so I had an hour to hear about his idea.
Although Fred has not started this company yet, his passion and desire to make this business a success is a victory in my eyes. There are five things, I found makes a person feel most cared about, and their accomplishments/victories that much better.
The easiest way to show someone you care, is by asking them questions. This shows that you have listened to their story, and that you want to know more. This was easy when inquiring about Fred’s to be business. “What is going to be the name of the business?”
“What if a client/consumer wants something you don’t have?”
As soon as we started talking about his business idea, he opened up even more, and spilled all of his ideas, plans, and excitement. There was one thing I had to tell him, as Nike would say “just do it.” I heard one time that the reason that Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump give away all of there secrets to success is that only 4% actually act on them, and thus there is little threat of entrants. I asked Fred what it would take for him to actually start the business, and I could just see and hear all of the wheels spinning as he was thinking how he would.
It is easy to see when someone is purely asking questions just to SOUND interested. It is almost like something is sticking in your side saying “f this guy, I don’t even want to answer his stupid question.” One of the things in life I am most interested in, and have a large passion for is business, so I was completely sincere when I was asking all of the questions about Fred’s potential business.
Even if you are not passionate about the topic that the person is talking about, I hope that you are passionate about that person. My fiance’s Master’s Program was in Occupational Therapy, and I have NEVER liked the sciences, biology, or medical fields. To see her though, excited, and interested in things she was learning, I listened and cared about what she was saying, because I care about her.
Whoever you are talking to will know if you are being sincere when you ask questions, or are listening because they will either open up, or close shop for good.
Focus… No iPhone/Blackberry out, Eye Contact, and Smile
The most frustrating thing in my life, and I am sure yours too is when you are talking to someone and they get a text, or an e-mail on their phone, and then read and respond to it. That text/e-mail was literally an end of the world type of text I know, but just for a few more minutes, TRY and hold off on that response. It’s hard, I know, you are the center of the world, and if you don’t respond, the world will truly… end.
Seriously though, keep your phone in your pocket, and show the person you are talking to how much you care. They will hear the vibration along with you and when they see you ignore it, will beam up. It is a pretty powerful statement ignoring a text or e-mail, and even more so when you don’t ignore it.
Remember What They Said
How annoying is it when a person asks you a question that you literally just answered an hour ago? Or maybe a day ago? First, give them the benefit of the doubt, and answer it as if it were the first time, but if they do it again, maybe give em the finger, because essentially that is what they are doing to you. If you are the person asking the same question for the third or fourth time. Stop. You have already disrespected them enough.
I absolutely love it when someone asks me a question inquiring about a topic we talked about in the past. “How is X going? I remember you were really worried about it.” The next time Fred and I talk, what do you think will be the first thing I ask? Probably something about his business idea, and if he has made any progress, it shows him that 1) I was really listening and 2) I care.
Brag For Them
There is nothing more appealing than a modest person. Someone who can brag all day and night because they can, but don’t. Now when I say brag for them… I don’t mean throw anything in anyone’s face about somebody, but instead just inform them of others victories.
I have already told two or three people about Fred’s idea, and the excitement he showed. In the future when this business comes about, there will already be people outside of Fred’s circle of influence that will know about it.
Ultimately, celebrating the victories of others comes down to one thing. Caring about others. If you are celebrating these victories for any other reason, just don’t. The practice of enjoying other’s victories is just like anything else, it takes practice, and that is exactly what I intend on doing.
I wish Fred luck in his business idea, and definitely hope he goes through with it, and starts it. Have a great week!