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I visited my local coffee shop last week with a friend and she was pleasantly surprised how all the staff there greeted me like a long lost friend and were full of their good wishes for 2007. It is funny but nice how we all continue to wish each other all the best for the New Year well into January 🙂

We then went to Tescos and again the same thing happened with all the staff greeting me with wide beaming smiles.

My friend was intrigued as to how this had come about. Apart from these being places I visit now and then, I had made the effort to connect with everyone at a human level during previous visits. I told her that it was all about treating others the way you wanted to be treated yourself.

Even genuinely asking the people who serve you how they were and smiling makes a big difference. Remember that most people blank out and ignore the checkout assistants, especially in supermarkets.

Show your appreciation in all areas of your life. Keep a count of the number of times you say “thank you” every day and keep increasing. Say your thanks genuinely and wholeheartedly to all those strangers who do so much to make your life convenient and easy, such as shop assistants, the postman and the dustman. Of course this applies to all the other people in your life too such as your partner, family and colleagues, but that is an article for another day.

You will get so much more back in return. For example, the road I live on is full of mature trees and about six months of the year, there is a guy from the local council who goes up and down the road continuously picking up the leaves and other debris. Every time I now see him, he gives me the most wonderful smile and he is now like an old friend.

Make other people feel important, show everyone that they count and raise their self esteem. And by doing so you will raise your own self esteem too.

Get to know their first names and address them by name – remember the sound of their name is the most important for everyone :-). Make the effort to pronounce it correctly if it is a foreign name. For example, no more calling Shilpa – Shipla or even Poppadum 🙂

From now on, next time you are out in a restaurant or a shop, make a human connection with the person serving you. After all, they may have got up really early to be there to serve you or they might have been working a long shift. Make their day.

Remember the old saying – do unto others what you would have done to you.

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