Thursday, February 11, 2010

Remember learning to navigate the social world as a kid? Your parents pushed you to say thank you and please and excuse me at the appropriate times. You probably thought it was just part of what parents got to tell kids because they were the adults. Really they may have thought that too because that’s what their parents did. However, it was an introduction to public relations regardless of how accidental it might have been.

Leave It To Beaver’s brother Wally had a friend who acted like he knew what he was doing with public relations. “Good Evening, Mr. Cleaver. My but aren’t you looking lovely Mrs. Cleaver.” And on and on he would gush. When the guys went to hang out upstairs the charm ran out like hot water in the middle of a shower. Eddie Haskall made me nervous. The right thing done for the wrong reason doesn’t really count.

My friend Spike was like a walking one man PR department. He had developed a way of making anyone he talked with feel important, smart, talented and beautiful. His sincerity was never a question because Spike did the right thing for the right reason. That counts.

How much effort would it take to thank someone who in reality was just doing their job? When you meet someone can you try to remember their name? How much trouble would it be to smile and speak to people who aren’t in your inner circle? Is it possible to listen to someone like nothing else matters?

We get so inwardly focused inching along in our own lives we forget to consider how we could brighten the day for someone else. It takes 21 days to develop the habit of looking for an opportunity and 21 days to get out of our selfish ruts. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel like a rock star. Besides, your momma would be so proud of you.

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