One of the most important things for you to remember is that your success is dependent almost solely on other people. By that I mean, you can work hard, invest, prepare, plan, and even be educated, but unless other people come to the table, you’re simply going to be spinning your wheels. How do you get other people to help you with your agenda, your passion, your plans? You do it by creating goodwill ahead of time.
One of the subtle aspects of life is that we don’t seem to feel like we need other people when things are going well. But when things fall apart, we reach out to people and we wonder why they move away from us. It’s because we haven’t created goodwill ahead of time.
So in this Dave Rave, let’s talk about the 7 ways we create goodwill ahead of time, before we need it.
1. Be kind. It may sound like a cliché, but it is still the truth. Be kind to people. Understand that people have feelings. They are not there just to fulfill your needs, or to adopt your agenda and to help you be successful. Be kind to people in the way you treat them, the way you respond, the words you use, the emotional energy that you create.
2. Be gracious. I’ve learned that if you’ll be gracious with people when they’re down and you’re up, they’ll be gracious with you when you’re down and they’re up. Be gracious. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t remind people of the ways in which they’ve failed you. It doesn’t make them better and doesn’t make them more faithful. Be gracious.
3. Be thoughtful. Remember things like birthdays and important dates to other people. Send “thank you” cards. Use “snail mail.” It’s still there and it makes an impact that email can never make. Think of ways that you can create good memories by being thoughtful to other people.
4. Be generous. Don’t hold to the letter of the law. Give people a large berth to make mistakes. Don’t just give them what you owe them; be generous. Overwhelm them with your big-heartedness. It will pay off.
5. Deposit before withdrawal. In every relationship that you form, you’re going to need to make a withdrawal in the future. The only way to do that is to make small deposits along the way. Do for others what you hope they’ll do for you, but you do it first and ahead of time. You make a deposit just like a savings account. That’s exactly the purpose, isn’t it? To make small deposits along the way so that when you need a large withdrawal, you have the capital. Same thing is true of relational and emotional capital.
6. Under promise; over deliver. This can’t be emphasized too much. Most of us are in danger of becoming cynics because we just simply have had too many experiences where we can’t trust people to keep their word. It’s a delight when we run across people who under promise but over-deliver. If you do that, you’ll create goodwill that is worth more than any monetary price you can put on it. So make sure that you “wow” people by the fact that you give them more than they expected. Better under-promise on the front end and over-deliver on the back end. That’s how you get repeat customers.
7. In order to create goodwill over time you have to remember that everything is connected. For example, you may be dealing with someone who is mowing your yard. You pay them a set fee. And they don’t do a job that suits you. You decide because they are just a “lawn-mowing person,” you can treat them in a rough, discourteous way. What you may find out is their brother or their cousin, their mother, or their father – someone they’re related to – runs a vendor or a business that you desperately need in order to complete a deal. Then you learn that you didn’t get their help or the contract because they’ve been talking to their son-in-law who mows your yard, and he’s convinced them that you’re a jerk. Remember, act everyday as though everything is connected. Act as though the waiter at the restaurant, the person at the gas station, the person who reads your electric meter; every person you think doesn’t have any power is connected or related to other people. And everything is connected.
Remember, you need goodwill. It will determine your success over time. Create goodwill. Remember these seven ways and you’ll be glad you did.