Winning with People- Part 3

In our last two posts we’ve been discussing ways to win with people.

Much of our success in life depends on how well we interact with people.  We are relational beings that find a deep sense of satisfaction in life from quality relationships that bring value to us and to the other person.

This is true in our personal lives as well as our professional lives.

In fact, I submit that our level of fulfillment and satisfaction in life is far greater influenced by our quality of relationships than by our financial net worth. 

 

While I believe money can bring you options and opportunities, money without positive relationships does not necessarily bring happiness.

This principle can be seen in third world countries where the people have very little, but still have happiness.  Why is this?  They’ve learned that positive relationships always trump a bigger net worth.

This brings us to our third way to win with people.

Intentionally serve others.  

My wife, Jacque, takes a yearly trip to one of the most impoverished areas of Mexico.

She loves to serve others and displays this principle in an inspiring way.

The first year she went, the team built a couple of homes and a church for the poor.  In addition, they put on a carnival for the kids in the village, created a makeshift salon for the girls and brought a dental team to provide basic dentistry.

Last year, the team built a home for an orphanage and a sport court for the orphans to play soccer on and provided shoes for the children.  Previously, they had nothing but a dusty field to play on and bare feet to kick rocks around for fun.

Each time she has returned she has brought back pictures that display how happy the people are.  They have very little, but often times display more happiness than many people that have much more.

The interesting thing is that many people on the team have commented after the trip that it is the best “vacation” they have ever taken – my wife included.

Why?

Because they have learned that intentionally serving others is one of life’s greatest joys and brings a deep sense of success to ourselves and value to others.

Serving others is at the core of winning with people and achieving success in life.

Businesses that focus on serving often outperform their competitors.  People that focus on intentionally serving others are likely to have more friends and be promoted at their jobs quicker.

In fact, I have a friend that has been in sales for decades and has found a tremendous amount of success selling by serving.  He has consistently been at the top of the company by winning with people by looking for ways to serve.

Intentionally serving others begins with the question, “How can I help?” 

Many times we already know the answer to this questions intuitively and can easily apply the answer.  Other times, we may have to ask the question to the person we wish to serve.

The great thing about this question is that we can use it in our personal or professional life.  It works in every arena of life to bring value to others and ourselves.

It shows we care and in turn causes others to care about us.  It creates another “win-win”.

Imagine what your life and the lives of others around you could become if you apply these three principles.  Imagine the level of success and fulfillment you could create by bringing value to others.

Be an encourager. 

Give people confidence.

Intentionally serve others.

These principles have the power to revolutionize the quality of our connections, relationships and leadership.   Start applying them on a consistent basis and begin to experience what truly “winning with people” is all about.

Which of these three principles do you feel is the most important in winning with people?

Winning with People- Part 2

Be an encouragerYesterday in our post we discussed how to win with people through encouragement.

The truth of the matter is that everyone we come in contact with is going to have one of three effects on us:  positive, neutral or negative. 

No one wants to have a neutral effect.  And certainly nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I want to have a negative impact on everyone I come in contact with today!”  Yet many people do just that with their negative attitudes, comments and outlook on life.

If I asked you to think of one person you know that is typically negative, most of us sadly have someone that comes to mind.

We don’t want to be that person and we don’t want to be around that person.  Nobody does.  Why?  Because we were wired to want to be around positive people.  We’re drawn to them.  And when you find one, they become a blessing to your life.

For me, one of those positive impacts came in 7th grade.  I had just transferred to a new school in Fort Lauderdale that I didn’t want to go to.  In fact, I came home the first day and told my mom I didn’t want to go back because I didn’t meet any friends and I didn’t know anybody.

My mom prayed that God would send me a friend and within a short amount of time I made friends with several kids including two guys that ended up being groomsmen in my wedding and still are friends of mine more than 25 years later. Another one of those life long friends I met was a girl named Heather.

What was amazing to me about Heather was the way she was able to connect very quickly with people.  People absolutely loved her because of the way she added value to their life.  As I got to know the rest of the family, I found out they would all eventually have that quality.

I began to pay attention to the way Heather interacted with people and much of who I am today has been the result of what I’ve learned from her and her family.  In fact, the influence and impact that Heather has had on others’ lives has been remarkable and has brought her relational success as well as financial and career success.

Our second way to win with people is something I saw Heather model in her life.

 Give people confidence. 

One of the greatest gifts you can give to others is to give them confidence in who God has created them to be.  You have the ability to help people see the future that they may not see for themselves.

Most people don’t have a problem with overconfidence, but many have an issue with feelings of unworthy or inadequacy.  In fact, many times they are hiding behind a mask, feeling that they’re not good enough or don’t measure up. 

This is an area that some people call “self talk”.  It’s the tapes we play in our head about ourselves.  And many times those tapes are negative.   “I’m not good enough.”  “I’ll never make it.”  “Everyone else is better than me.”

There is an ancient proverb from the Bible that says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

We can help people change the way they think about themselves by giving them confidence with our choice of words.

I have another friend, Phillip that is great at this.  He may say something to me, like,  “I know you are going to knock it out of the park with this talk.”

What does that do for me?  It gives me confidence to be everything God created me to be.  I actually feel and am more successful because of it.

I love to do this with kids and students.  Because I am a person of faith, I like to say something like,  “You’re going to be someone great someday.  I can’t wait to see how God is going to use your life.”   What does that do for them?  It helps them create a big vision on how they can impact our world.  And those words may be the very thing that propels them into their destiny.

My friend Heather did this with her friends.  People that some would write off as being in the “Un-cool Club” suddenly had confidence to do and become things that they may not have even attempted before.

Help people shape their future and reach their potential and you will add tremendous value to the their life and gain tremendous influence as a leader.

Why?

Because people are wired to gravitate towards positive people that make them better.  Making them better ultimately makes you better and brings a sense of success, happiness and fulfillment to your life.

Tomorrow, we will look at a third way to win with people.

In the mean time, find someone you add confidence to.  It may shape their destiny…and yours too.

Who is one person that has made a difference in your life by giving you confidence?

(Feature image from Clipart.com)

Winning With People- Part 1

Connect with peopleOur success in this life is largely determined by how well we connect with people.

We’ve all been around that person that drains us and sends us running the other direction.  No one wants to be “that person.”

On the other hand, there are certain people that seem to be magnets for others and bring value to everyone they come in contact with.  People love to be around them and they seem to experience more success in life.

I’m sure even as you read this, someone in particular comes to mind.  Chances are if you’ve been around that person long enough, they’ve had a positive effect on your life.  Your life is “better” because of them.  As a result, their life is more fulfilled because they know they’ve added value to your life and ultimately, everybody wins.

Today, we will look at the first way you can successfully win with people.

Be an encourager.

Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick fil A said, “How do you know someone needs encouragement?  If they are breathing!”

John Maxwell, leadership guru said, “51% of effective leadership is being an encourager.”

People are drawn to leaders that are encouragers.  Encouragers naturally have more friends, because people love, crave and need encouragement.

John Maxwell suggests to practice the 30 second rule:  Say something encouraging or positive to a person within the first 30 seconds of the conversation.  Sincerely compliment someone on something.  Maybe it’s a simple thank you or a job well done or some words of appreciation or positive words in general.

I have a friend, Barbara, that is the master at this. She lavishes sincere encouragement on people in person and in cards. She intentionally looks for ways to lift people up and people are better because of Barbara.  People are drawn to Barbara because she is an encourager.

If people aren’t drawn to you, ask yourself why and what you can do to change that.  If you tend to gravitate towards negativity, surround yourself with encouraging people and read and listen to things that will lift yourself up.  You will be amazed at the difference that this can make in your life.

Your challenge for today is to find one person you can encourage.

One simple way I’ve implemented this is on Facebook.  Facebook typically lists your friends’ birthdays on the side of your home page.  I try to use this as an opportunity to go beyond writing a simple “Happy Birthday”.  I write an additional sentence or two on how that person has brought value to our world or my life.  Think of it as a built in reminder with names of people I can encourage on their special day.

Because most people only write, “Happy Birthday”, your message stands out and creates added encouragement for that person.  Sometimes I will take it a step further and text that same message to the person or write it in a card.

Of course, you shouldn’t only encourage people on their birthdays, but it’s an easy way to begin developing the habit of encouragement and watch how it helps you win with people.

You can also bring this practice of encouragement to the workplace by sharing words of thanks and encouragement with your clients and coworkers.  It’s amazing how bringing value to others always eventually brings value back to you and creates a “win-win” for everybody.

In our next post, we will talk about a second way you can win with people.

For now, go encourage someone.  Your life and theirs will be better because of it.

 Who is someone that has been an encourager to you?

(Feature image from Clipart.com)

How to Make People Feel Like a Million Bucks

how to make people feel like a millionIf you’re like most people, you like to be liked.

Experts tell us that one of our greatest needs as humans is to feel loved. 

People go to great lengths to try to fill that need, sometimes in an unhealthy way.

The truth of the matter is we don’t have to sacrifice our integrity to make friends and enjoy relationships with others.

There is an ancient proverb that essentially says, “If you want to have friends, you must show yourself friendly.”

When you make others feel good about themselves, you feel good about yourself and enjoy more and better relationships.

Essentially, when we serve others, we end up being served.  It’s beautiful the way it works.

Here are three practical ways you can make people feel like a million bucks.

1)  Compliment Them in Front of Others.  Most people don’t get enough encouragement in their lives.  Let’s admit it.  We’re hard on ourselves.  We live in a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and feel we don’t measure up.  A few simple words of encouragement about someone in front of others goes a long way.  If they have done something great, tell someone about it, in front of them.

2)  Ask good questions and be a good listener.  Become genuinely interested in other people.  Talk show hosts like  Oprah and Larry King are masters at this.  They know how to ask good questions and really listen.  Ask good questions and remember to ask them next time about it.  I had a friend that would be able to tell me months later what I talked to him about and ask me how that particular thing was going.  I think his secret was that he took notes, but whatever he did, it impressed me and made me feel like a million bucks.  As a result, he became one of my favorite people.  Paul the Apostle taught people to, “Not look to only your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Why?  Because I’m always on my mind.  When we listen and are genuinely interested in others, it gives people a deep sense of acceptance and respect.  Use body language to let people know you are genuinely interested, such as leaning in when they talk, making eye contact and not looking around the room for the next person to talk to.  One of the greatest ways we can add value to people is to show interest in what is important to them and sincerely listen to them.

3)  Send a letter or card for no reason.   In the age of social media we live in writing a letter or card is a lost art.  Yet, a simple card or handwritten letter could have a profound effect.  It has that “surprise” element to it because you aren’t expecting it.  We just received a totally unexpected card today from someone that wanted to let us know they appreciate my wife and I.  Let me tell you, it made a difference and stood out.  It made us feel special.

Ask yourself, “What one thing could say to this person that would make a difference in their life today?”  In other words, how can you add value to their life or bring a smile to their face?  Andy Stanley helped me to understand that I can’t serve everyone, but I can serve someone.  His profound words have stuck with me every since I heard them many months ago  “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.”  That could change the world if we all did that.

4)  Pray for them and let them know  you did.   I am a person of faith.  I think there are few things we can do for someone that have as much impact and meaning as praying for them.  It lets them know we genuinely care and makes a better connection between us and them.  Recently, I started praying for certain people during my morning walk.  I will send them a quick text during the day that goes something like this:  “Just wanted you to know I prayed for you and your family today.  Have a great day!”  Obviously, that kind of text would be a little awkward for someone you don’t know very well, but within the realm of friendship, it can add value to a relationship and value to their life because of the prayer.

These are not the only things you can do to improve relationships and make people feel like a million bucks, but focusing on others is always a win-win situation.

What’s one way you make people feel like a million bucks?   

(Feature image from Clipart.com)