Here are five gifts that you can give that don’t cost you anything, but the recipient will treasure as priceless.
- Attention: We all want to be noticed by other people. You have many opportunities to notice people: whether in a hallway conversation or by listening to their whole point before formulating your reply in a meeting. When you pay attention to someone else, you are showing that person that you value who they are an what they contribute. A sentence that you can use to signal that you are giving someone attention is: “Can you tell me about . . .”
- Recognition: In addition to receiving attention, humans want to be recognized for the contribution that they are making. Recognizing someone is about seeing what they have done and acknowledging the positive impact that it has made. To give someone recognition, you can use the sentence: “I noticed that you . . . . and this means that . . . ” Focus on the specific action and the positive result.
- A Question: Your natural curiosity can be a gift to someone. By asking a question, you are signalling that this person has some information or experience that they can share with you. Your authentic question elevates the person who you are talking to above yourself because they have knowledge that you don’t have.
- An Introduction: Who you are can naturally be leveraged into gifts that other people can use. In your conversations, you can introduce people to new ideas, people, or sources of knowledge. Don’t expect that everyone knows about the blog that you read or the book that you have read. Introducing people to something or someone that they haven’t yet come into contact with is invaluable and useful to people.
- Your Experience: Your experience is a gift that you can share with people. You have made many years of mistakes and successful attempts. Your learning can benefit other people so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes. Of the five gifts that you can give, sharing your experience is the one that you should only give if people ask for it. Giving the gift of experience has a diminishing benefit if you focus only on yourself and forget to give the other four gifts.
What gifts will you give to the people around you today?