Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Power of Nice: Make someone's day

I remember some time back being in a queue to order a meal at a sports club venue.  The card reader had not being working properly which meant that payments made by card were taking a long time.  Customers were showing their annoyance.  The person who was taking the orders and payment remained calm and greeted each new customer with cheerful courtesy, despite some customers venting their hostility.  When it was my turn, I complimented her on her excellent customer service in a difficult situation.   A smile came over her face and she seemed to show a sense of relief that someone had taken the time to understand and acknowledge her ability to handle a difficult situation with excellent customer service skills and professionalism.

In an article "6 Unexpected Ways to Make Someone's Day" by Jeff Haden on INC. (Small Business Resources for Entrepreneurs) Website, Jeff Haden writes "When you see a person struggling, give them hope.  Let them know you see something in them that they don't yet see - even if, sometimes, you don't yet see it either".   
6 Unexpected ways to make someones day

I love stories like these about building people up by acknowledging their ability to handle a difficult situation in a courteous, calm, confident and professional manner.  Taking a moment to be present and to see a situation from another's perspective shows not only empathy but leadership in building someone up by providing hope and encouragement.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

50 Something: Shades of Grey

Surprisingly this is not a commentary on a certain book.  Rather it is a commentary on people’s perceptions and stereotypes.

I ponder my life at 50 something while I look in the mirror at a few more shades of grey appearing in my hair and I can’t help but notice how we as a society have evolved over the years.  We live in an era where medical technology, improved nutrition, access to information on health and fitness have had a profound effect on improving our quality of life enabling us to be active, longer.

In the past perhaps someone with greying hair may be considered as approaching retirement or at least winding down from full time work.  However in an era where 70 may be considered as the new 50, this is not the impression we want to give if in fact we are perfectly happy pursuing our full time careers, hence the propensity to get out the dye bottle and rid ourselves of the grey.

I must admit I have struggled with the concept of going grey for this very reason.  I too was guilty of using hair dye to rid myself of the shades of grey.  Eventually I stopped dying my hair preferring to wear a wig, still not ready to face the world with grey hair.  It was not until I had a break away from work for a brief holiday and after some soul searching, I realised that I was the one with the issue of greying hair.  It was my perception of myself that I was getting too old for the job.   Remarkably spending time with someone who has debilitating health issues put things into perspective for me.  Once I had faced my own demons and changed my own perceptions and stereotypes I was able to change my way of thinking and be content with who I am.   I have now abandoned the wig to reveal my own hair with emerging shades of grey.   

International Volunteer Managers Day 2013

As we approach another International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD), I ponder the true meaning of the day.   The banners and posters on the...