You're in a hurry. You run out at lunch time to pick up Steelers cookies for the big game Sunday. You feel the pressure of imposing deadlines but you figure this will only take you a few minutes. You pull into a parking lot with snow mountains in its corners and notice a woman helping a man out of the car but don't think much of it. You park you car and cross the lot when you notice coming up alongside of you is the same couple. But the man was not the one being helped out of the car. He was obviously helping the woman out of the car - a woman who is in a wheel chair with half of her body limp. You wonder if her drooping hand feels the cold.
For a split second you know you could dart inside the door, get your cookies and scoot. It's a decision similar to when you get on an elevator, the door is closing, you hear someone approaching and know if you push "Door Open" they'll make it or if you don't they can get the next one.
Without hesitation you open the door for the couple so that the woman's husband may wheel her inside with far greater ease than he got her out of the car. Because they entered prior to you they were seated by the hostess who had been at the cash register adjacent to the cookie case. It took a while since they needed help moving a chair away from the table to make room for the wheel chair. You watch from the counter as the hostess then seats the people who came in to dine with them.
All of a sudden you're not in as much of a hurry as you thought. You start chatting with the hostess about how they sold 1400 Steelers cookies last night alone. Another employee joins the conversation and shares that yesterday they had to make green and gold cookies for the Green Bay Packers. You're all smiling as she explains they told themselves they were just making Irish cookies.
When you get back to the office you share the stories of the 1400 Steelers cookies being sold in one night and the Green Bay Packers Irish cookies. Your day slows down just a little and you take the time to eat lunch with people instead of at your desk today. You smile at people you hardly used to notice and stop to take part in Steelers activities you wouldn't have had time for a week ago. And you got a lot more work done after that then you ever thought you would.
Slow down. Open doors. Smile. Laugh with others. Laugh at yourself. Start now!
Get Mary Lee's FREE article on Nine Steps to Killer Problem Solving.
Mary Lee gives executive coaching tips in MONEY MAGAZINE.
Mary Lee Gannon is the president of StartingOverNow.com - Transforming People and Organizations with Goals-to-Results. With more than 16 years of experience as a CEO of organizations with up to $26 million in assets, Mary Lee coaches executives and organizations with a Goals-Accountability-Results system. Read testimonials from her clients. She is a graduate of The Duquesne University Professional Coaching Program and an alumnus of the 2010 Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership Conference. Her personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother with four children under seven-years-old who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where she rose to the level of CEO to support her family. Areas of Specialty: Strategic Planning / Board Development / Executive Coaching / Healthcare / Public Relations / Meeting Facilitation / Leadership / Productivity / Life/Career Transition. Her book "Starting Over - 25 Rules for When You've Bottomed Out" is available in bookstores and from online booksellers.
Click here to get the Seven Killer Ground Rules to Effective Meeting Facilitation.