What is it that makes you remember an encounter?
If we think about it, a lot of the time, the things we remember people doing—the good things, anyway—aren’t really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. They’re usually in the details. We’re living in a world where extra effort—even just a little extra effort—is the difference between standing out and being another face in the crowd. Whether we’re talking personally or professionally, there are some tiny behaviors that we can learn that will put us a cut above the rest.
They’re not hard and they don’t require a lot of your time or effort. But they make a good impression, and a good impression can be everything!
5 Simple Behaviors That Have Lasting Impact
1) Take on an attitude of service.
We live in a time where everyone is focused on me, me, me. How refreshing would it be to meet someone who took on an attitude of service? You would remember them! While it can be challenging to reorient yourself to think about the needs of others more often than you think of your own, especially when it comes to business endeavors, the good impression you’ll leave behind will be well worth the effort.
Being helpful and offering to solve problems—contributing to solutions, being giving and empathic—will put you ahead of the rest when everyone else seems to be looking out for number one.
It seems so simple, doesn’t it? So many people just don’t proofread their messages before they send them out into the world. Emails, memos, Facebook statuses, texts: all left unedited and riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Just the small act of reading twice and making corrections before you post can make a bigger impact than you know!
Even on things that “don’t matter” like your personal social media accounts, they actually do matter—employers increasingly look at them before they hire employees.
It makes you look more professional, more credible, and more articulate. You can’t go wrong by proofing first.
3) Break your technology addiction.
There are four times when you should not use your phone: while driving, right before bed, when you’re talking to someone, and at the dinner table. While that might sound like the advice of an overbearing parent, it’s true! How many of us have been caught in conversation or at dinner with someone who just can’t take their eyes off of their devices?
It makes you feel ignored and belittled. You want to know that the other person is fully present and engaged with you. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, be that person instead. Be engaged! Leave your phone alone and set your focus in the present and on the company right in front of you. Everything else can wait.
4) Be a man of your word.
There are too many people today that just aren’t reliable. They usually don’t mean to be that way. But if you’re known for being anything, be known for being someone that can be counted on. Whether that’s in your personal relationships or in business—do what you set out to do. Deliver more than expected.
You might be in a field that feels oversaturated. You might think that people in your profession come a dime a dozen and that you’ll never stand out. But here’s how you stand out: by being the most reliable, hard-working person in your profession. That’s how you get ahead. I guarantee that everyone else isn’t reliable. Everyone else doesn’t work as hard as you can work— if you decide that's who you’re going to be.
5) Apologize well.
We’ve all heard bad apologies. We’ve all met people who just don’t give them at all! A gentleman stands out when he knows the value of not only admitting fault, but in striving to fix it. Most people only do one or the other, if they do it at all.
Bad apologies are sorry that they hurt your feelings (otherwise known as gaslighting), or they just fix the problem without any admission of fault. Some say sorry but don’t do anything to fix the problem or change a harmful behavior. Others don’t do either!
Someone who stands a cut above the rest takes responsibility for their actions. They know how to apologize and own up to their mistakes—and do their best to make up for them and not let them happen again.
When you adopt small, simple behaviors like these, you set yourself up not only to be a kinder, more aware person, but you leave a lasting impression that will help you both personally and professionally.