RSS A Few Kind Words Make a World of Difference

The proximity of my parking space to our drive-up lanes necessitates that I walk past clients who are transacting business in the comfort of their vehicle. Over the past several years, I have seized these moments as an opportunity to personally engage each client in some way. I always make eye contact and deliver what I hope is perceived as a genuine smile. Sometimes I am able to engage a client or their passenger in a brief conversation. A few years ago, upon my return to the office, I checked my voicemail and received a message that was enlightening to me. The client mentioned how significant it was (their word, not mine) that I acknowledged him and his wife at that moment. The client shared that the couple had just received the sad news a few minutes earlier that his father had died prematurely and that while the trip had been planned weeks in advance so that they could say their last goodbyes, the reality of the recent death was still a shock and deeply traumatic. My client shared that how deeply touched he was with my warm acknowledgement (a smile, wave and a “thank you for your business” comment). It’s been such long enough ago that quite honestly I don’t remember the name of that client, but I do remember the impact of his heartfelt message on my personal behavior. It is a perfect reinforcement that no matter what role we have within our company, but especially if we have a position of leadership, we can’t predict when our attentiveness to the “soft” things will be recognized as an act of significance.

As my clients, friends and colleagues know, this practice has long been incorporated into my daily routine. I can’t help but think that if all employees and business leaders were to view these benign interactions through a different filter, one of opportunity and added value, how it might benefit them. The tangible goodwill alone could be priceless!

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2 Responses to “A Few Kind Words Make a World of Difference”

  1. Dana says:

    Good reminder. Thanks. – Dana

  2. Kristy Carpenter says:

    Mitch, I have never had the pleasure of having you as a supervisor. I have had the pleasure of observing you and your infectous smile many times. You not only touch lives at work with your team and your clients, but you have touched lives all around our community. Thanks for being you. You are one of my favorites!!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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