We all warm to certain human qualities, whether it's someone's honesty, sense of humour, integrity or thoughtfulness in taking care of the little things which make a difference. Like making a cup of tea for your partner and taking it to them in bed or that unconditional hug at the end of a hard day. That's how we connect, form relationships and evolve.
The old proverb, 'treat others the way you would like to be treated' has stood the test of time due to its simplicity, the ease in which it can be carried out and the natural reward it gives to us as individuals. Try too hard and it becomes fake, try too little and you will miss the point but, by being genuine, it becomes a two way street.
In the continuously social world that we live in, news does travel fast. So it is always refreshing to see, in amongst the bad stuff, simple acts of kindness go viral. Uplifting stories which put a smile on our faces get shared and passed through the various interconnected circles. One which caught my attention and made me reflect a lot was the story of a homeless kid who, despite everything, found a novel way of getting his homework done. It wasn't so much the novel way; it was how someone so young put so much emphasis on his studies because he wanted a better future for both himself and his family. If you missed it, take a look at this article on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/33460791/homeless-boy-doing-his-homework-by-mcdonalds-light-inspires-thousands-online.
Reaching out to people through the media channels has created both opportunities and pitfalls for brands. With many transactions done remotely these days, first contact is often virtual: through a website, a FaceBook posting, an advert or a blog. As in real life, first impressions count and within a fraction of a second, minds are made up, confirmations calculated and a firm decision made – now at just the click of a button. This seems to make life a bit easier, rather than an awkward pause and then a, 'See Ya'.
Values are important. They are what distinguish us both as brands and as individuals. Yet there is also the trickle-down effect of values: what they mean, how they are carried out and, perhaps more importantly, how these values make us feel as individuals. After all, it is the view of the customer that defines the brand and what is said about them.
To reinforce this point, take integrity as a human quality. This can present itself in many different ways. One recent quote doing the rounds on LinkedIN went something like, ‘integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.’ Certainly an excellent take on the word, but is that your take? Integrity breeds confidence and with confidence you are left with feeling someone is on your side and battling your corner. But that is just another take.
The ‘how you are left feeling’ is perhaps the most important aspect in all of this. Frustrated, angry, upset, let down – these are all negative feelings and a drain upon our well being. So, being mindful of values and ensuring the impression that someone is left with, should be the key factors in everything.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net