Making an impact in today’s fast-paced world and social media abyss is simpler than you think.
It can be hard to figure out where we fit in and how we can make a positive impact with so much noise and distraction in the world today. The ability to connect easily and effortlessly with people around the globe is so wonderful and exciting; however, isn’t it also true that we sometimes put our personal relationships aside to keep up with the day–to–day demands of the internet?
We know through research that personal connections improve mental health and wellbeing. Study after study finds benefit and an improved sense of wellbeing when you feel truly connected to friends, family and community.1,2 Researchers have also found that when you are looking at your phone instead of being fully focused and present for your conversations, the inverse is true.3 Your friends and family may even feel that they aren’t important.
In today’s fast–paced environment, people are increasingly seeking out more value and less internet access. In fact, coffee shops are popping up that are purposefully NOT providing Wi–Fi to their customers!4 Crazy, right? Or is it an important part of our future and learning to manage this new era of information overload?
Take a look at fast–growing businesses that are considered disrupters in their industry. What often sets them apart is that they provide a sense of connection and add value for their customer.
The wave of the future is focused, considerate and individualized customer service. Instead of asking, “How can we squeeze the margins and make more profit?” We should be asking, “How can we improve customer service to make each and every one of our clients feel valued?” Improved customer service leads to an improved client experience, which often translates into revenue.
Customers and clients who feel valued are often shocked by our simple actions of gratitude and thoughtfulness in today’s age of cold technological distance. And they will share your thoughtful actions freely with friends and family, in–person, on social media, at local coffee shops and in line at the grocery store.
As someone who has struggled to fit in throughout my career, I think a lot about impact and service to others. When my vet school class was asked to take some version of the Myers-Briggs personality test, I remember at the end the professor asked, “Who’s letters didn’t I call?” I raised my hand and looked around; I was the only one.
Rather than struggling to fit in, it’s important to take a moment to realize that it doesn’t matter, because quite simply, you belong here. Each and every one of us has a unique and important purpose in this world to fulfill and it’s important to remember that we don’t need to fit in, because we belong here.
Sometimes the most impactful thing we can do is to take a moment to ask ourselves a few simple questions:
What organizations, either personal or professional, do you participate in that add value to your life through providing a sense of community, belonging and support?
What’s one action you can take today to improve someone else’s sense of belonging?
Who can you surprise today with a simple sign of appreciation?
I challenge myself with these questions every day in order to be fully focused and present for others, and hopefully make a positive impact in the world. Today, I am extending that challenge to you and look forward to cheering you on as you make your positive impact on the world. +
1. LISA F. BERKMAN, S. LEONARD SYME, SOCIAL NETWORKS, HOST RESISTANCE, AND MORTALITY: A NINE-YEAR FOLLOW-UP STUDY OF ALAMEDA COUNTY RESIDENTS, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 109, Issue 2, February 1979, Pages 186–204, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a112674
2. Brummett, B. H., Mark, D. B., Siegler, I. C., Williams, R. B., Babyak, M. A., Clapp-Channing, N. E., & Barefoot, J. C. (2005). Perceived Social Support as a Predictor of Mortality in Coronary Patients: Effects of Smoking, Sedentary Behavior, and Depressive Symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine,67(1), 40-45. doi:10.1097/01.psy.0000149257.74854.b7
3. Braff, D. (2017, March 9). Your smartphone may be ruining your relationships, even when it’s off. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2018, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-phone-relationship-family-0307-20170309-story.html
4. Mele, C. (2017, May 9). Coffee Shops Skip Wi-Fi to Encourage Customers to Actually Talk. New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/technology/coffee-shop-wifi-access.html?_r=0