This is part 3 of the "Be Kind" series. Be Kind: People Will Remember
I've had two instances in the last couple of months that have reminded me and encouraged me about the importance of treating people well, and being genuine in your kindness. About a month ago I received a text from a good friend of mine asking me if I wanted to speak at a coaching clinic. The clinic is being put on by a very successful and well-respected head coach, whom my friend had worked for a number of years ago, and remained close with. This guy had reached out to my friend, Jeff, and asked him to get in touch with me to see if I would be interested in speaking at the clinic. I had not spoken to the clinic host in at least two years, and that was only via email. Prior to that, he, Jeff, and I had shared a quick dinner in between speakers at a coaching clinic we were all attending. And that was it. A short conversation and a follow-up email in which I asked him a couple of defensive questions. In his email to Jeff, to ask me about speaking, he said something to the effect of "I was very impressed by Bryan's professionalism and I think we could learn from his experience". I don't mean that as a boast in any way. I spoke to this guy for under an hour. And no, he doesn't mention my kindness in the quote, but I feel very strongly that if I was a jerk in our meeting, or didn't treat him with respect and kindness, that he would not be making note of my experience or professionalism. He wouldn't care about those things because people remember WHO you are.
The other reminder I received recently was delivered while I was having coffee with my friend Daniel. He had recently been out on the West Coast for a wedding and told me that he had bumped into someone I'd gone to school with. It wasn't someone that I knew that well, or that I had any continued contact with since college. So that last time that I have seen or talked to this mutual acquaintance would have been about 11-12 years ago. And when we were in school together, we didn't spend much time at all together. When he ran into Daniel, somehow my name came up, and the guy said something like, "oh Bryan, he's like the nicest guy ever" Truth is, I don't really remember ever being that nice to the guy. I thought he was a little strange, and wouldn't have been surprised if he had said, "Oh Bryan, he always acted kind of stand-offish to me". Again, the point is not for you to think I'm the King of Kind, the point is, that people remember. People remember how we treat them, and if they remember you as being someone who was kind to them, it will stick with them for a long time. The more people can have others pouring kindness into them, and the more positive experiences they can have with other people, the better their outlook on their own situation will be.