We've been building a list over the the previous two blogs. Here are more to add to the list — you're getting the idea. Acts of kindness are those things you do INTENTIONALLY. The kind and friendly things you easily do in response to others aren't what we are talking about. Everybody does those.
It is your willingness to shine a light into dark places that makes the difference: the darkness of a person's mood; the darkness of an awkward situation; the darkness of perhaps being shy around strangers. An intentional act of kindness can totally change the person and the situation.
Notice their clothing, jewelry, pins, haircuts, even scars and disabilities. Ask, inquire, lament, comment, praise, appreciate: “Interesting pin.” “Great colors.” “I love your car.” “Sharp tie.” “That’s quite a scar on your arm, how’d that happen?”
Noticing is friendliness alive.
Use names. Remember names. Say them, and repeat them.
Spell them to lock the names into your memory. Use them as much as possible. “Good morning, Harry.” “Have a good day, Gerry.” Ask for names. Keep on asking until you remember them. This is valuable risk-taking.
Give a well-wishing farewell. “It was good to see you today.” Or “It has been a pleasure meeting with you today.”
Even if it is merely a committee meeting, or a consultation with one or two persons, when you leave, say appreciative words about being with them. Avoid just departing silently. When you leave a gathering, declare clearly, “I really enjoyed being with you today.”
A parting sentence often heard, after some kind of transaction, is “Have a great day.” You can then respond with, “I will, and you just made it better.”
Excerpts from the 'Thirteen Secret Behaviors' section of Jim Kok's book, Transform Belief Into Behavior. Available here from Amazon.
These ‘Secret Behaviors’ are not truly secret—but they are far too often overlooked. The humble effectiveness of being friendly cannot be over-emphasized. People all around us are hungry for a touch of care, concern, love, even simple acknowledgement.
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