As a parent of two young children, my wife and I often find ourselves searching for the best way to handle a situation. We are quickly discovering two very important lessons:
1. Always evaluate your method, good or bad and see what can be improved.
2. Positive Attitudes are infectious.
I will also tell you that we didn’t come by these two rules by getting them right the first time, the fourth time or even the twentieth time. Moreso it’s what we strive towards.
The second one is what I want to focus on today. We have recently discovered in the midst of yet another three year old’s battle that if we take a kind and positive approach to a tantrum, they become fewer and farther in between. We have also found that if we develop routines and habits that get our point across in a kind way, that the response and actions tend to be reciprocated over time. That doesn’t make it easy to do in the heat of a moment, but it does give us drive to continue this path of parenting.
I’ve heard this called the “Law of Reciprocity”, the inherent desire to want to help someone whom has helped you. I like to see it in a less ‘me’ focused ideal of the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have them do to you.
I see this as the key to life in many ways, and our professions tenfold. Think about this for a second, we all strive to feel fulfilled in our jobs. It’s natural to want to be in a job that you enjoy. Have you ever felt bad about yourself or your job when you have gone out of your way to help someone? Odds are that you felt pretty good about yourself, and that person you helped will never forget you. Translate this into your job, do you think a client will recommend someone that has gone above the expected call of duty to help them out?
Try it out, take one client or conversation today where an opportunity to help out presents itself and act. Focus on how it makes you feel. Felt good, didn’t it. Now rinse and repeat with your spouse, your children or simply an acquaintance.
There’s a reason I love my job, I get to help people everyday. At the same time, when it comes down to it, I could love any job for the same reason.