Have I ever mentioned how brilliant my wife is? We’ve had several conversations recently about the general unrest and the growing racial tension seen in story after story on the news. While we didn’t come up with a fool-proof strategy to end it, we both felt like common courtesy and a positive approach would go a long way. She came up with an acronym, borrowed heavily from the old S.E.R.V.I.C.E. idea that businesses have used for years.
S – See people — really look at them — not with judgmental eyes or even colorblind eyes, but eyes that appreciate the inherent value of every human being.
M – Make eye contact. I know it’s not always comfortable, but without it, how will they know you’re acknowledging them?
I – Initiate contact. Doesn’t have to be complicated, just a nod, a smile, a “good morning” or a “how are you?”
L – Listen for a response. How many times have I heard a “have a nice flight” from the agent at the airport ticket counter and responded, “you, too.” I wasn’t really listening.
E – Excuse. If you don’t get a response, it’s less than enthusiastic or even downright hostile, understand that there are all kinds of situations going on that we don’t know about but could have influenced that response.
So make the world a better place and S.M.I.L.E.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Consider this an open invitation to comment below or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org