This is a true story.
When my daughter was younger (middle school age) she received a gift that we returned to the store. As she grew older, she outgrew the store. The credit for the gift lingered in our desk and when we cleaned out the desk recently, the credit reappeared.
On our regular mall walk, my wife and I went into the store and looked for something for which we could cash in the credit and found nothing. We don’t know people with kids that age any more.
My wife’s brilliant idea: give the credit to a mother and her daughter she spotted browsing in the shop. Smiles, hugs and happiness ensued.
My wife paid it forward. You, too, can pay it forward.
You can play it forward too: it’s an act of kindness that makes us human and is well appreciated by the recipient.
Business can be paid and played forward too. LinkedIn allows you to share as you:
- recommend someone for amazing work without their asking for it.
- share an article with someone to make them more aware and to show you thought enough of them to make the effort.
- introduce your connection to someone thus referring one great person to another, with you as the fulcrum
- follow up on an event (business anniversary for example, but add a personal note–don’t just “like” it or use LinkedIn’s default congratulations message)
- applaud a business deal that they announce and ask them to share their expertise with you so we can all learn from it
- in sum, think and act “out of the box” to be a special connection. It takes little time.
Pay it forward. Play it forward. Make this a new habit in the new year.