These phrases echoed continually with great enthusiasm as I walked into the upstairs restroom at the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. The restroom, located at the top of the long escalator, is the last stop before grabbing your luggage and heading home.
I heard these words clearly. Loudly. I could hear them outside of the restroom before I even entered. Inside, a young woman was greeting everyone who came in with: “Hello, love!” Then she would walk you to a restroom stall and open the door with: “Right here, love.” As you got ready to leave, she was right there with a: “Thank you, love!” I had never experienced anything quite like it.
The week after, at the close of another trip, she was there again with the same enthusiasm, leaving a lasting impression on me. I noticed that the other ladies working with her were also enthusiastic, helpful, and friendly. They took pride in their work to keep the restroom clean. Her enthusiasm was contagious. To her co-workers. To everyone who came through.
Expressions of enthusiasm, of sharing your heart in your job, leave indelible impressions. Steve Farber, in his book, Love is Just Damn Good Business, has a key expression: “Do what you love in service to those who love what you do.” I am always excited that I get to do that every day with Signature Leaders. I think those ladies in the restroom absolutely feel that way, too.
The past few weeks with Signature, we have been delivering our sessions “in-person” again. Experiences, when super positive, cascade to those around you and to those who see you when you return. That is the case with Signature.
In our programs, we teach the power of one word or one phrase. How words given freely, joyously, and with the intent to point out someone else’s potential can make a difference. Sometimes, well-placed feedback and support can change someone’s thinking, their trajectory, and even their life.
The woman in the restroom may not have changed my life, but my attitude and thinking sure changed. Having been in sales and customer service much of my career, I learned early that you need to build equity with people. Building equity looks very much like having a bank account; you must keep making deposits. You build your equity, and someday, you may need to make a withdrawal. Without that equity, it is quite difficult to draw down on the bank account. It’s the same for people and relationships. If you treat someone with care, if you show them love time and time again, they can allow you to stub your toe every once in a while, and not have it cause harm to the relationship.
Leadership is like being the thermometer. If you run hot, others around you feel it and mimic it. But if you are the energy source, the positive spark, the calm in the storm, those around you mimic those states of being, too. That restroom experience was a great reminder of how small, enthusiastic, and heartfelt care given to others can change the entire weather pattern for your day.
How can you positively change someone else’s emotional weather today?