Yesterday I shared the difference between having an “I-It” business versus an “I-You” business.
But the question is…
How can really we live an “I-You” life and have an “I-You” business?
Here are 4 practical ways:
1. Pay attention to people around you.
I don’t know if you’ve thought about this, but many times we just kind of wander through life not noticing the people around us. Bueber said, “All real living is meeting.” Do you really meet others or are you just going through the motions?
A Modern Good Samaritan Story With A Negative Twist
Daniel Goleman tells a story of some seminary students who had a problem…
One afternoon at the Princeton Theological Seminary, 40 students waited to give a short practice sermon on which they would be rated.
Half the students had been assigned random biblical topics. The other half had been assigned the parable of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help a stranger by the roadside, an injured man ignored by people supposedly more “pious”.
The seminarians worked together in a room, and every 15 minutes one of them left to go to another building to deliver his sermon.
None knew they were taking part in an experiment on altruism (or selflessness).
Their route passed directly by a doorway in which a man was slumped, groaning in evident pain. Of the 40 students, 24 passed right by, ignoring the plaintive moans. And those who were mulling over the lessons of the Good Samaritan’s tale were no more likely to stop and than were any of the others.
For seminarians, time mattered. Among 10 who thought they were late to give their sermon, only ONE stopped; among another 10 who thought they had plenty of time, 6 offered help.
Of the many factors that are at play in altruism, a critical one seems to be simply taking time to pay attention; our empathy is strongest to the degree we fully focus on someone and so loop emotionally.
- How many opportunities to serve someone do we miss everyday, because we don’t pay attention to people?
- How many do we miss because we don’t fully focus on someone besides our self?
- Do you know realize how much better you’d feel about yourself and your business if you just occassionally focused on serving others?
Noticing others is the first practical way to have an “I-You” life or business. If we can begin to really notice other people and think about them, we’d be taking a huge step towards living this out!
2. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
After noticing others we need to begin to focus on what it would be like to be them.
Why Mercede Benz Owes Its Existence To Empathy
In 1886, Karl Benz drove his first automobile through the streets of Munich, Germany. He named his car the Mercedes Benz, after his daughter, whose name was Mercedes.
But there was a problem. Instead of being impressed about his great creation, the machine angered the citizens, because it was noisy and scared the children and horses.
The citizens pressured the local officials who immediately established a speed limit for “horseless carriages” of 3.5 miles an hour in the city limits and 7 miles an hour outside of the city.
Benz knew that he would never be able to develop a market for his car and compete against horses if he had to crawl along at those speeds.
But Benz had an ingenious idea. He invited the mayor of the town for a ride. The mayor accepted his invitation never expecting that Benz was up to something. But little did the mayor know, Benz was up to something!
Benz then arranged for a milkman to park his horse and wagon on a certain street. He told the milkman, that as he and the mayor drove by, to whip up his old horse and pass them– and as he did so to give the German equivalent of “flipping off” the mayor and Benz.
The plan worked perfectly. The mayor was so mad he demanded that Benz overtake the milk wagon. Benz said he would love to except for the fact that, because of the ridiculous speed law, he was not permitted to go any faster.
Guess what the mayor did as soon as he had the chance? Yep. Very soon after that experience the law was changed!
This simple thing – putting ourselves in other people’s shoes – could change how we see, feel and act toward other people!
But there’s something else we need to do besides noticing people and putting ourselves in their shoes…
3. Treat other people like they are someone important, because they ARE important to themselves, their family and to God!
Emerson once said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I shall learn of him.” One of Dale Carnegie’s tips to “Win Friends And Influence People” is to “Always make the other person feel important”
Dale Carnegie tells a story in his book about just how powerful “making someone feel important” can be. He says…
“I was waiting in line to register a letter in the Post Office at Thirty-third Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. I noticed that the registry clerk was bored with his job – weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making change and issuing receipts – the same monotonous grind year after year.
So I said to myself, “What is there about him that I can honestly admire?” This is sometimes a hard question to answer, especially with strangers; but, in this case, it happened to be easy. I instantly saw something I admired no end.
So while he was weighing my envelope I remarked with enthusiasm: “I certainly wish I had your head of hair.”
He looked up, half-startled, his face beaming with smiles. “Well, it isn’t as good as it used to be,” he said modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost some of its pristine glory, nevertheless it was still magnificent.
He was immensely pleased. We carried on a pleasant conversation and the last thing he said to me was: “Many people have admired my hair.”
Carnegie goes on to say…“I’ll bet that chap went out to lunch that day walking on air. I’ll bet he went home that night and told his wife about it. I’ll bet he looked in the mirror and said: “It is a beautiful head of hair.”
Then Carnegie says…”I told this story once in public; and a man asked me afterwards: “What did you get out of him?” What was I trying to get out of him!!! If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to screw something out of the other person in return – if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve.
“Oh yes, I did want something out of the chap. I wanted something priceless. And I got it. I got the feeling that I had done something for him without his being able to do anything whatever in return for me. That is a feeling that glows and sings in your memory long after the incident has passed.”
Anyone can look for the bad in others. Anyone can see how they’re better than someone else, but can you do the opposite?
Can you see the good in them? Can you see something that’s better about them than you?
Can you do it all for no reason, but to show someone love and that they matter?
What if part of your life and business mission became this?
To remind as many people as possible that they’re important.
What if you saw every one of your prospects and customers as “V.I.P.s”?
That leads me to the last thing I want to say about trying to live an “I-You” life or run an “I-You” business…
4. We have to really care about people for any of this to really make a difference!
You can learn techniques and they might help, but they’ll never have the full power they could if they don’t come from your heart!
Dale Carnegie said, “One can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than one can in two years by trying to get people interested in him.”
I once went to lunch at a local sushi buffet restaurant with two friends. All these sushi chefs were working hard behind the counter, but no customers were talking to them.
I decided to ask one “Have you ever counted how many sushi you make day?” He didn’t know English, so he just smiled, but the guy next to him said, “About 2,000!” I said, “2000!?! You guys are machines! And he smiled and kept smiling while he made the next sushi roll.” I didn’t do it to get extra sushi. I did it, because I cared about the guys doing all of the work for us to have such a great lunch.
When someone really cares about you, you can tell. And when someone is faking it, we can tell that too!
I’m not telling you to stop having “to make a profit” a goal for your business. Making money through offering a quality product or service is not a wrong or bad thing.
What I’m just suggeting is that we make our business/life goal more than “to make a profit”. When we do that both life and business will be so much more meaningful!
We need to start leading a “you” life toward others. It’s the kind of life we want people to live towards us. But, it has to be real!
You can learn techniques for your own purposes and you can manipulate people OR you can learn to empathize and feel for others because you really care about them. When you do, they’ll do almost anything for you.
What if your business became a business that loved people and treated them as “Yous”, not to trick them to get them to buy from you, but just because they deserve it?
What if we served them out of selfless love? What if we empathized with them and made them realize how important they are?
What would happen to them?
Or more importantly..
What would happen to US?
I want to challenge us all to live an “I-You” life and run an “I-You” business!
Coming Next Week
Stay tuned. In a post I’m doing next week, I’m going to continue looking at ways we can learn to practically love our customers. My next post will be called…
“Two Revolutionary Approaches To Life And Business”
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