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THE POWER OF ‘GOOD MORNING’

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 6, 2012

– It’s much stronger than you think.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, click HERE.

Shortly after college as I was beginning my career, I happened to visit my doctor’s office for a routine checkup. I took a seat in the waiting room and began to look around. There were, of course, the usual nondescript magazines and newspapers from years ago, with titles I didn’t recognize, some were even printed in foreign languages. I guess today’s edition of the local newspaper or the “Wall Street Journal” was out of the question. There was also a television set tuned to a channel featuring a local yokel talk show. Some of the people just stared at the screen mesmerized like zombies. I hesitated to change the channel as I had visions they would turn and attack me. Most of the patients though just sat quietly looking at the ground awaiting their turn with the doctor. Some looked a bit nervous and apprehensive about being there, kind of like prisoners on their way to the gas chamber. It was all rather depressing. Then suddenly the front door swung open and in strode the postman delivering the mail with a brisk step. “Good morning everyone,” he said with a loud and cheerful voice, “How’s everybody doing today? What a beautiful day isn’t it?”

He then dutifully delivered the mail to the receptionist, turned and left with a tune on his lips. As the door closed behind him, everyone snapped out of their trance and began to talk. “What a nice guy, didn’t he have a nice way about him? He was like a burst of sunshine,” and they all agreed.

In a matter of a few scant seconds, the postman had lifted the cloud of despair off the heads of the patients and got them chatting away seemingly without a care in the world. It was probably more therapeutic than anything the doctor could have prescribed for them.

This lesson was certainly not lost on me. Whereas I had been hesitant to talk to strangers in a public setting before, I began to greet people more openly both in and out of my office. Remarkably, the postman’s trick worked, and I’ve been able to build some good rapport with people over the years by doing so.

I have also seen many offices where the inmates either reluctantly give a token “Morning” in the most doleful tone or say nothing at all. The token “Morning” is almost as bad as saying nothing at all as it is devoid of any sincerity, just a mechanical reflex action. Whether a person is a customer, vendor, or co-worker, it’s important to make the person feel as welcome in the office as they would be in your home. After all, it is basically the same thing. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks this way anymore and people tend to see work more as drudgery as opposed to their livelihood. Consequently, there is a tendency to take people for granted. Regardless whether you love your job or not, we have to recognize work is performed by and through people. A simple and sincere greeting like “Good Morning” goes a long way to expressing your interest in others. Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the reactions you get and how people will want to interact with you. Naturally, there will be people you do not get along with at work, thereby preventing you from extending such a greeting. Fine, but this should be the exception as opposed to the rule.

Consider this, how did the patients view the postman as he left the doctor’s office? Did his stock go up or down with them? Now ask yourself how you want your stock to go. At the very least, you’ll likely be remembered, just like the postman.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.


NEXT UP: 
IS AMERICA STILL GREAT? – Or are we on the verge of becoming irrlevant?

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3 Responses to “THE POWER OF ‘GOOD MORNING’”

  1. Excellent Post Tim. I really enjoyed reading this. I think I’ll add a few more cheerful good mornings on my daily walks!!

    Cheers, Jenn.

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An S.F. of London, United Kingdome wrote…

    “I have thought the same thing ‘exactly’ myself before about the power of good morning – when I go jogging I say good morning as I pass – I wanted to do a newspaper campaign about saying good morning.”

    A J.P. of Toronto, Ontario wrote…

    “Good one, Tim! So often it is the so-called ‘little things’ that are so important….”

    A T.H. of El Segundo, California wrote…

    “Great article Tim!”

    An L.M. of Chicago, Illinois wrote…

    “Great audio article. Gives me something to strive for, everyday.”

    A K.E. of Sacramento, California wrote…

    “Good Morning to you! I so agree that moods are contagious!” 🙂

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “That postman was a ray of sunshine for a lot of unhappy people. Smiles and cheerfulness usually get answered in kind…but not always. It’s a bit of a hot button for me right now. Having spent a fair amount of time in waiting rooms in recent months, I can relate to this. On my last visit, I made a point of smiling at and trying to make eye contact with every person I passed. None of them smiled back and most avoided looking at me. I’m not that bad looking, really.

    I like to watch people rather than the talk show or cooking show on the TV. One elderly lady was called in and as she struggled to rise from her chair, her cane dropped. Neither the man sitting across from her nor his 12 year old son even looked up from their hand held games. I could have gotten to the cane by stepping over those knuckleheads’ feet, but I can’t get up fast. I wanted to smack both of them and ask if they were raised by wolves. The poor lady got her cane and carefully stepped over the feet of the slackers. After seeing that, I lost interest in my smiling campaign.”

    A K.S. of Oklahoma wrote…

    “Not only will a cheerful ‘Good morning’ do wonders for those being greeted, it it also creates an internal chain reaction within ourselves that can last all day.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An O.B. of Macon, Georgia wrote…

    One of my favorite things to teach the kids that come to learn how to build model airplane is to get to know the “little people” the cleaning woman, the security guard on the gate where you work, the waitress at your favorite restaurant, the guy painting the hall at the hospital, all the folks you encounter as you go through your daily life,

    Learn to smile and think of nice things or funny things to say to these folks as you pass by them. I teach that in truth, there are no “little people”. Each of us has worth and each of us have personalities. You may not get rich but as the saying goes, “Folks will remember how you made them feel” The good morning smile you wrote about has this quality. It can literally change another person’s day for the better.

    Life is long or short mostly depending on your attitude, Tis my belief that making folks feel good gives strength to your own life. I have a grandson that has traveled a few trips with me to shop or do business and the other day, I heard him tell someone: if you are feeling down, go see my grandpa, he can make anyone smile.

    He particularly liked the time when we passed an old man setting on a bench near the door and who had a long sad face, and as I passed by him, I smiled and said, “oh wait’in on the the bus are ye” he thought a second and them smiled and said, yes I think that is exactly what I am doing. It was that smile that I was looking for,

    I regularly ask greeter and wait staff this question to get their reaction, “Do you know what to think of when you really get bored,,,, Think about what our chairs would look like if our knees bent the other way?

    That brings lots of smiles. As with the postman in your story, it takes simple things spoken with care in your heart that make life worth living for the folks around you,

    Thanks for bringing this to the attention of folks, you just contributed to making our world a happier place

    Like

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