We all know our ABC’s. We learned them as children. In fact there was a book I read long ago “Al I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The basic principles are certainly there. As adults we need to step up our game a bit.
I will be writing a multi part series about the ABG’s. Always be Giving, Always be Growing and Always be Grateful.
Giving. To some of us, it seems like we have been giving all of our lives. Yes, it is true that giving actually provides more for the giver than the receiver, IF the giving is done cheerfully with an unselfish spirit. One of the very simple things we can do every day is to do something good for someone today with the absolute knowing that they could never repay you. Do it with a willing heart where you not only do not expect them to repay you, but you do not even want them to repay you.
When I owned the property management company, Mountain Castles, in Steamboat Springs, CO, there were times when employees came to me for assistance. Sometimes they needed money; other times they needed a mature ear to listen; and other times they wanted advice. This is an important distinction because gender studies will show that when a woman tells a man about a problem, she is not necessarily asking for his advice on how to solve it. Sometimes she simply wants him to listen and care. Catharsis is a way of talking through a problem. Just by hearing ourselves verbalize a problem, we discover the solution.
Part of giving is being a good listener. This does not mean a pity party or a whine or complain session. This is speaking out loud and addressing not only the situation to be solved but also the potential solutions. Discussing the positive and negative of every possible solution helps clarify the beast choice of action.
In many cases it is easier to hand money to a child or even an employee rather than develop their habit of thinking through a problem and creating the best solution possible.
Giving of our time and focused attention is sometimes one of the sweetest and most valuable gifts we can ever give. A small child, who really wants to show you a birds nest which he found and he believes is something really fascinating, deserves a few minutes of our time. Even though a birds nest was certainly not on your priority list at the moment, those few minutes will mean a great deal to the child for years to come because it was an example of the fact that you really cared about him and his interests.
Giving time to an older child or even an adult to help them develop the habit of analyzing an issue and determining the best solution will form a pattern which will assist them in everything they do for the rest of their life.
Giving time to an employee to really hear their ideas and concerns can not only help them but together you may discover an idea which will enhance company profits.
Whenever an employee came in my door with a problem or a complaint, I always insisted that they have at least one potential solution to offer as well. Just the action of thinking of a possible solution turned a complaint into a solution discussion. Whether their solution was the best one or not, was not important. They learned a valuable approach to a situation.
Sometimes giving of your time is the most valuable gift you can ever give.