She walked into the meeting room and offered us a cup of tea. She greeted us with a friendly smile and spoke with a calm and soothing voice. As I sipped the tea from the tall and beautifully decorated mug, my mind lingered, thinking of the small gestures that we engage in to add pleasurable moments when we meet with others – be it at home or at work. Just holding the beautiful mug was a treat – that someone cared enough to pick mugs that were beautiful to look at and to hold. Was this a company policy that she offered the tea? Was it part of her job? Was it her own initiative?
How many of us even notice the small gestures that others make to make us feel comfortable?
Although she works in an administrative role, she sees her job in a bigger capacity. She is the face of the company. She knows that when meetings are taking place, people are sometimes tense. She knows that sometimes executives are stressed from the day-to-day rigours of decision-making and tight schedules. Most importantly, she knows that if people feel special and are relaxed, there is a greater chance of a productive meeting which can generate new ideas, business opportunities and partnerships. This type of attitude is an example of authentic leadership – the type of leadership which does not need a title or position to perform. She adds value to the company and naturally makes herself a valuable employee.
As I write this blog, I think of small things I have seen in offices which adds positive energy. For example, I know a social worker who always has a bowl of dried fruit and nuts and fresh fruit for her visitors, most of whom are moms and colleagues. As her visitors munch on the fruit, it creates a feeling of trust and relaxation which provides a safe space for sharing. Recently, one of my staff brought a bowl of organic chocolate cranberries to our team meeting. It was a wonderful treat during the meeting. At our organizational bi-weekly meetings, someone is always generous enough to bring in cake or cookies – something easy to munch on. Just taking an extra minute to ask the other person “How are you?” genuinely and to genuinely listen to the answer, can add a burst of care that can quickly strengthen relationships.
It takes a little effort to merge small gestures of kindness and care into our daily work. However, if done in a true spirit of generosity, those small gestures can infuse positive energy and reduce stress in our work environments and homes. Just imagine the power of a simple cup of tea shared in a true spirit of partnership!
Little does this woman know that she left such a strong impression on my mind, that if I ever have the need to hire someone in a similar role, I will be considering her!
TuneIn to the impression that you leave on others or others leave on you. StepUp to incorporate small gestures in your daily routine that can bring peace, calm, care, compassion and a genuine feeling of concern for others.