1 idea, 60 seconds, daily to spur action towards doing our best work, creating a thriving culture, and living meaningfully

Take off your shoes

A colleague I used to work with had a reputation of asking three questions at the beginning of every meeting:

  1. “How are you doing?” He was very good at reading people and if he sensed that you were giving a canned response, he’d immediately follow up with: “How are you doing really?”
  2. “What do you need to be successful?”
  3. “How can I support you?”

Not once would he look at his phone or at an incoming e-mail (we’ve all been there), instead he’d look directly at you while you were speaking.

Without having to say it, he conveyed that you had his full attention and that he was listening.

Throughout his career, this colleague garnered multiple accomplishments — from being one of the top sales reps in his territory to successfully running a team that spans the globe.

There’s plenty of plausible explanations for his achievements, and while I won’t purport to know precisely what those reasons are, there is one trait that I can confidently point to as a contributing factor: his eagerness to put himself in the shoes of those he worked with.

It didn’t matter if he was meeting with teammates or with customers, he treated everyone with the same level of empathy. Based on my observations from the few years we worked together, I can affirm that by genuinely caring, he developed trust. With trust, came engagement. With engagement, came mutually positive experiences and outcomes of the best kind.

Adopt empathy as your default — take off your shoes — and watch what becomes possible.

--

--

--

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Five Things I Learned From Getting Fired

Taming the PowerPoint Monster

I’d rather shop offline for clothing

Behind The Scenes of the Post-Application Process: Job Application to First Phone Screen

Being Confident and Successful as a Woman in the IT World with Nikki Evans

How You Can Learn to Have a Healthy Work Life Balance by Telecommuting

Effective Meetings for Increased Productivity

A Sales Career in the Finance and Financial Services Industry

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
William Liao

William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)

More from Medium

Three ways we marginalize each other without realizing

Eight chess pieces, one is a different color than the rest and stands apart

Nitty-Gritty CX Truths

Urgency part 3

Gender Parity in Business: how to achieve it?