We are all in relationships – with ourselves; a romantic partner; our parents, children, siblings; colleagues, neighbors and those people we run into in our daily lives. How we navigate and nurture these relationships impacts all aspects of our lives. There are plenty of great articles and books about how to improve the big relationships in life but this month I wanted to talk about how we relate to the “insignificant people” in our lives.
How many people do we touch each week as we go about our lives? Store cashiers, phone representatives, bank clerks, customers, homeless people, drivers all meander in and out of our field regularly. There is an expression – how you do one thing is how you do every thing. And this applies to all these seemingly inconsequential relationships also.
In one of our business trainings we were told to pay attention to a name; we all have one and we all feel attached to our name. When I use the cashier’s name it shows I see him, I validate his work and his presence and that is a powerful gift to give. When I remember the name of the service agent on the other end of the phone it proves she is not anonymous, that I appreciate her time. I have been quite surprised by the response this action elicits – people smile, look pleased, the voice becomes lighter, friendlier.
It sounds like such a simple step, it sounds almost irrelevant but you might give it a try – see what happens when you call another by their name, when you start to truly see and acknowledge the people around you.