Generosity is contagious and it creates a positive ripple that brings out the best in everyone.
Even small acts of generosity, like holding the door for people behind you and inviting someone in a hurry to go first when you’re waiting in line, have a positive impact on the people you choose to help.
I know you don’t need to be sold on the value of generosity. Random acts of kindness are always nice…they’re just not enough.
No matter how good you are now, it’s important to increase your generosity. I’m not talking about donating money or helping people you don’t know, I’m suggesting you become more generous with the people you do know.
The life of a leader is filled with so many fires that need to be fought, it’s easy to forget about the unique needs of the people you love and lead.
One thing you can start doing today to demonstrate your generosity to those you work with and live with is to really listen when someone is talking to you.
Being a generous listener means you have the desire and ability to pay attention to someone who has a need to be heard. (By the way, that would include everyone you know…even teenagers.)
The next time you’re in a conversation with a co-worker or family member, put your cell phone away, stop multi-tasking, and listen a little longer to their story. Really try to understand all the facts and feelings associated with what they’re trying to say.
If they share a problem, don’t offer unsolicited strategies for solving the problem. Remember, advice is not listening—it’s lecturing. Most of the time, people just want you to empathize with them.
Your opinion does matter—you just don’t have to share it immediately. Listen like you’re on their side. Be a creator—not a critic. The devil doesn’t need any more advocates.
Listening is the foundation of generosity because to be truly helpful and kind to someone in need, you have to really understand their unique hopes and fears.
Being a role model for generous listening is also a great way to influence others to follow your example.
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin