If your purpose is truly selflessness, your own benefits, whether they’re personal fulfillment or financial, will be greater than you had ever hoped.
Hospitality Rules at Home
Giving service to someone is not something you do or deliver; it is something you are, and it is in you. It needs to start at home. I want my three boys, Johnni, Cal, and Bo, to have not only high service aptitude, but also human aptitude. Not because they will someday make a better living, but because it is who they are—an intuitive part of their being. I teach them that there is no such thing as a stranger (obviously this applies when they are with an adult). I want them to be natural “day makers.” In order to do so, we play games and have contests all the time in public. Here are a few examples:
Beat the Greet: Who can smile and say “hello” to the most strangers while walking down the street, or in elevators, malls, and airports?
Show appreciation: Thank everyone, not just the people who serve us, but policemen, TSA security, and especially men and women in military uniform. It is so cool to watch a TSA security person’s face change from serious to surprise and smiles that someone actually thanked them for the job they are doing. My kids go out of their way to make sure every military personnel who comes within 50 feet of them is thanked.
Engaging: I have taught my sons how to find out about other people’s F.O.R.D. (family, occupation, recreation, and dreams). For instance, when we are at a restaurant or in a taxi, my boys try to see who can get the most personal information out of the service provider. Rarely do people ask cabbies questions about their job or personal life. They love to share, and it keeps my boys focused on other people versus talking about themselves. It also teaches them the value of showing interest in others, and how easy it is to get someone to go from transactional to enthusiastic.
John R. DiJulius III, best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the president of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America's #1 Customer Service Conference.