My goal with this blog is not only to write on coaching and sport related topics but life as well. This week will offer a different theme from the past couple of weeks, and is directed to those of you who read but are not big sports fans. I hope you enjoy and can take something away from this.
In October of this past year I went up to Walgreens to scan photos for a slide show I was putting together for my wife’s birthday. That night I encountered one of the nicest and most genuine people you would ever meet. A guy named Rohn. This wasn’t the first time I had encountered Rohn in the store, and I always left saying, “Wow, what a nice guy.” Rohn was a normal, everyday type of guy. He was around my age range, late 20’s to mid 30’s, and had short black hair with a beard. Rohn worked behind the photo kiosk and checkout center. On this particular evening I walked in around eight o’clock in the evening with about 150 pictures to scan. For most people I would have been an inconvenience, a pain to deal with at that point in the day. But for Rohn I wasn’t. I was someone to be treated with kindness. He helped me with the scanning programs and printing options and made my task much easier.
As I left the store that evening I felt overwhelmed by Rohn’s kindness and felt the need to write down my thoughts. I am going to share with you the notes I put into my phone that evening on lessons I could learn from Rohn. I hope you can learn from them too.
The first lesson is to smile. It is one of the most simple things you can do and yet is often taken for granted. When greeting someone with a smile you automatically put them at ease. Every person I saw Rohn interact with at Walgreens, he greeted them with a smile. Think of how much more a coach will get out his athletes if they greet all players with a smile at the beginning of practice. In the business world, if you enter the room with a smile, the customer will be at ease and is much more likely to hear you out. As the old saying goes, “It doesn’t cost anything to be nice.” So greet those you encounter with a smile and you will make their day better.
Rohn acted like his job was the best job in the world. There are a lot of people out there who hate their job. They dread going to it every day. I am blessed not to be one of those people and Rohn is not one of them either. It’s amazing the energy that one gives off when they truly enjoy what they do. I had no problem being at Walgreens for over an hour and half scanning photos because Rohn enjoyed what he did. Positive energy is contagious. Coaches must have positive energy when coaching their teams. It’s the only way to deal with many ups and downs during the season. If you run an office ask yourself this, “How much more productive would my team be if I led them through positive energy? I offer a brief story I recently read to make the point. There was a janitor mopping the floors at NASA one night before everyone left the building. A visitor remarked on the way out, “Wow, you work really hard and do a great job, but why? You’re just a janitor and don’t get paid well enough to work like that.” The janitor replied, “I am not just a janitor, I helped put a man on the moon.” If we act like our job is the best job in the world, guess what? It is. If you want to move up, do the best you’re capable of in your current situation and people will notice.
People today are too immersed with themselves. Another lesson learned from Rohn is to go out of your way to help others. As I sat and scanned photos I noticed how Rohn would always stop what he was doing to immediately help someone at the photo counter when they approached. He could have made them wait until he finished with what he was doing, but he didn’t. He treated them like they were the most important person in the store. Rohn showed genuine care for each person he interacted with that evening. He made sure they got what they needed and made sure they were satisfied. How great would our world be if we were all like Rohn and went out of our way to help others out and make them feel important?
As I stated earlier, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people. I was amazed that some of Rohn’s co-workers were short, snappy, and somewhat rude to him when they talked to him. Part of me felt that they acted this way towards him because they knew how great of an employee he was and that they did not give the same effort as he did. This made them look bad, but that is their own fault—not Rohn’s. Rohn treated his co-workers the same as he did his customers: with class and kindness. It served as another reminder to me that I need to always treat people with kindness and the way I would like to be treated. The world would be a much better place if you and I did this on a more regular basis.
Some people are fake and we all have had to deal with them. I was reminded that evening to be genuine and not fake. Rohn was about as genuine as one can get. To me being genuine is looking someone in the eye while talking to them and listening with your eyes as well. I don’t know how, but we as humans can tell when someone is being genuine and when someone is not. I’ve thought a lot about it and I think it comes down to the attention, eye contact, and tone of voice that we use. Rohn was not fake. He did all of the above and more. He constantly checked on me during my time scanning photos. When I had questions on how to print, on pricing, and available options, he took the time to assist me. He checked on my progress as I went along. All of these are small things but when you add them up they make a big difference and a lasting impression.
I am absolutely convinced that if a teacher, coach, salesperson, or CEO took these lessons from Rohn they would become better at what they do. Anybody can make a difference in the lives of others and when it’s all said and done, that’s what is most important: how we make others feel and the impact we have on others. I hope somehow Rohn is able to read this one day to know that he has made an impact on others through his actions. I hope his employers know how great of an employee they have in Rohn.
Please be like Rohn this week. Thanks for reading and have a great week. Be an RGP today!