Bringing out the best in us.
As I visit some of my clients, I am becoming aware of an unusual phenomenon – I think some people are actually becoming less selfish. We are used to hearing stories of institutions reaching heights of greed and selfishness during this recession but not many that are about the other way round.
I don’t go to supermarkets very often because I’m usually out working when my wife goes but by a fluke, I kept her company recently. We have been trying to support the local farmer’s markets in the area but this is proving difficult as it’s much quicker to do a one-stop visit to a supermarket than lots of small visits since we both run our own businesses.
It is of course cheaper at the supermarket as they have systematically forced food prices down to a level that prohibits most small food producers from supplying them.
Anyway, I digress. In our local supermarket works an ex colleague and friend of mine. He was made redundant just over a year ago for the second time and decided that he would go for the stress-free, safe option. He used to organise procurement for a large, global communications company so he has his head screwed on around organising things. I guess the supermarket job means that he can just switch off away from work, something he could never do before.
I saw him with a large trolley, checking shelves and we stopped for a chat. He was fine and generally enjoying his work. He asked about mine and I mentioned that things were a bit tight at the moment. We got talking about how training is carried out at his work and how they work with developing employee’s interpersonal and communications skills. He mentioned that there was a new HR manager at the branch, or is it “in branch?”, and would I like an introduction as they were always recruiting new people and they needed training?
I was flabbergasted as we weren’t necessarily that good friends and he didn’t need to say or do anything but went out of his way to be helpful.
I have also noticed this phenomena in other companies from time to time, in the form of clients arranging meetings and spending time, something previously they really didn’t have time for. Maybe we get more of what we notice and by focusing on the positive, we attract more of the positive into our lives?
Is it because when the going gets really tough, for example, in times of national crisis or great hardship, that we remember that we are all interconnected?
By Jon Lavin