Friday, March 4, 2011

Wave and Engage

There are three people that I’d like to highlight in today’s post, but I don’t know any of their names. All I know is that I’d like to be just like them when interacting with customers, clients, and strangers.

Observed Party #1: There is a school crossing guard on Baymeadows Road near 9A that I’ve observed in what I consider to be the wee hours of the morning while stopped at the traffic light.  Even though it’s bright and early, he’s smiling and waving to each of the cars as they pass.  As children approach to cross, he initiates a conversation with every single one.

Take-Away: He is a pleasure to drive by and the lesson that he makes me remember is to engage everyone, even complete strangers. We all crave connection in a world that can be surprisingly impersonal, and this man has mastered how to make a genuine connection in less than three seconds. All it takes is eye contact, a smile, and a wave.

Observed Party #2: On a nice weekend, at least most of last year, you could find a sign waver advertising a builder on the corner of Alta and New Berlin roads. Regardless of how miserable he must have been after hours of standing in the sun, every car that went by got a smile and a wave. Every soldier or police officer that passed received a salute. It really can’t be a pleasant job. It’s hot, there’s no shade, the grass on the side of the road is tall and the ground slants significantly, there’s constant noise from the traffic and the threat of crazy drivers.

Take-Away: What I appreciate from this particular sign waver is that he takes it all in stride. But, what I most admire is his ability to genuinely smile and enthusiastically wave at every single car that passes. So, the next time I am participating in a networking event or waiting with fellow shoppers at the check-out, I want to make sure that I convey energy and authenticity with each and every person.

Observed Party #3: My third pick for this category is the dancing sign waver advertising for a sandwich shop in the Town Center. For quite some time, he was stationed at Town Parkway and St. Johns Bluff. Last time I saw him though, he’d moved to an even busier intersection near Gate Parkway and 9A. What I most admire about this young man is his ability to boogie in front of the masses. His enthusiasm is fabulous. I caught a newspaper interview with him a while back. Apparently, he’s wasn't the fastest sandwich maker but he was willing to work, so the owners handed him a sign. He even practices his dance moves before revealing them to the public! I don’t know if it’s true or not, but he looks like he’s having a blast. And, he must never need to work out…think of the number of calories he burns!

Take-Away: I think the biggest lesson from the dancing sign waver is to enjoy what you do. Make your job have meaning. His dance moves have actually caught quite a bit of attention – I saw him on some local tv spots over the holidays.

1 comment:

  1. I love these stories! The attitude you bring to a task can be transformative--for yourself, and for everyone who interacts with you.