There’s a behavior which, if you perform it daily, will transform your consulting firm, grow your business and improve your life. And it’s very, very simple:
One extra act of kindness. (Or, one act of extra kindness).
That’s it. Boom. You’re going to enjoy a more successful consulting business.
Well, you will if you perform an extra act of kindness every day. Not just for 30 days. Every day from here on out. Starting today.
Virtually any act of kindness qualifies as long as it is:
- Somehow related to your business.
- Not self-serving (i.e., sending someone an article you wrote or a copy of your book doesn’t count).
- Sincere vs. done grudgingly.
- Directed to someone other than yourself. Directing it outside your consulting firm will produce faster results.*
Examples of Tiny Acts of Kindness
- Say “Thank you” to someone you wouldn’t typically acknowledge.
- Offer sincere praise to someone for a job well done. (Don’t wait for a job spectacularly done.)
- Send a hand-written thank-you note to someone.
- Apologize to someone when something goes wrong, even when it’s not your fault.
- Compliment someone.
- Call back a vendor or salesperson who contacted your consulting firm, rather than ignoring their call.
- Respond to a consulting client’s difficult or annoying request with, “I’d be delighted to do that for you.”
- If you mention a book to a contact during a conversation, send them a copy.
- Send chocolate-covered almonds to a person chosen randomly from your contact list.
If you’re the type of person who’s generally kind and giving, that’s great. Be extra kind one time each day. For example, rather than commending someone, also praise them to their boss.
If you tend to forget, then prompt yourself with a cue. For example, place a coin on your desk each morning then remove it when you’ve completed your good deed.*
Easy peasy. Nothin’ to it, and your consulting practice will magically improve. Your mood will too, by the way.)
Okay, I’ll confess: a handful of evidence-based assumptions undergird this strategy. I believe:
- You’ll end up performing more than one extra act of kindness each day; sometimes many more.
- You’ll become massively kind.
- Your kindness will radiate outwards. Any staff and colleagues at your consulting firm will gradually emulate the behavior you’re modeling.
- You and your consulting firm will become known as nice, giving, people. The type of consulting firm other people really want to work with.
- You’ll gain a reputation as a consulting firm that’s great to work with.
- You’ll attract more relationships, build a thriving network of personal fans, and convert more of those relationships into clients.
And it all starts with one tiny act. Every day.
You can even plan it.
What extra act of kindness will you do today?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.
You’re right about their being evidence for this. For example, when researching my upcoming book (The Value of Values), I found that apologizing for something that *can’t* be your fault increases others’ perception of you and their willingness to listen to you.
And on a personal-experience level, when I gave handwritten thank you notes to the (two dozen) key client personnel, they really noticed.
Hooray for corroborating evidence! (Plus, I’m pretty sure I can find a place to offer a few extra apologies.) Yes, people tend to appreciate hand-written notes, even if your handwriting, like mine, is indistinguishable from marks left by a sheep clutching a pen in its mouth.
Thanks for contributing your knowledge and experience to the conversation.
I love the idea of having a token in front me as a reminder to do that one act of kindness each day. I suspect that recording that act in a gratitude journal will even increase the feeling of well-being. Not only doing that deed of kindness but allowing yourself to feel good about having done it will work wonders.
Double bonus points for expanding on the idea, Derek. I love the idea of recording your good deed in a gratitude journal. As you said, it gives the opportunity to reflect on our good deeds (and therefore learn–since reflection is where learning happens) and also to experience again the intrinsic rewards of our generosity.
Great addition, Derek. Thank you for sharing it!
Like Derek, I keep a gratitude journal. It’s the last thing I do before leaving my office, and makes me feel good (or at least better!) no matter how the day went. Also, I highly recommend the book Leading with Gratitude by Gostick & Elton.
Great book suggestion, Tom. At my little firm we’ve flipped the gratitude journal sideways: on Fridays each member of my team reads their “appreciation registry” of ways they’ve helped other members of the team. (We all fill out the registry for each other during the week.)
I’m glad you joined the conversation today, Tom.
Love, love, LOVE this article David! While I do most of the items you’ve listed, it’s not necessarily with regularity. I do have “Thank You Thursday” on my calendar and try to send handwritten thank you notes for the typical stuff (“Thanks for the book!” “Thanks for speaking at our event!”) but also to team members on various committees and projects on which I’m working too. Sometimes it ends up being an email, but either way, a funny thing happens…I always find myself smiling and feeling a little more upbeat on my way to the post office. I do keep a log, but honestly that was more a memory thing lol – so I could go back and double check whether I’d thanked someone – but after reading Derek’s and Tom’s posts, I realize it should be turned into a gratitude journal! And Daniel’s point is spot on – often “I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that” can go a long way toward helping someone in crisis (or just dealing with something extremely frustrating) feel heard and validated, showing support that enables them to get unstuck and move foward.
This is always such a great community of insight and expertise! Now I’m off to find a token to start placing on my desk each morning.
Your “Thank You Thursday” is a powerful idea, Wendy. I totally echo your comment that this is a great community of insight and expertise–you’re a big piece of that! Thank you for contributing your experience, building on others’ ideas and sharing your reactions, Wendy.
Another practical article, David! For my one act of extra kindness today, I’m going to add this to our social media calendar to share with solopreneurs too! 😃
One extra act of kindness that affects multiple people. You’ve combined an extra act of kindness with scale and leverage. Darn impressive, Liz!