Monday night at the Charlotte on my way to Miami, I walked through security and reached the TSA agent at the checkpoint. “How long do you have left in your shift?” I asked as I handed her my license. Without looking up, she replied, “Right smack in the middle.”
I said, “Well I appreciate you being here now. Keep up the great work tonight.”
She looked up, tilted her head sideways, smiled ear to ear, and chuckled, “Thank you. Ha. THANK you!”
My best guess? That was the first time in a long time a passenger appreciated her work and acknowledged that she might want to be home instead of sitting at that desk.
I practice that skill constantly with real people in real settings during brief transactional relationships. Moments like airport security are great reps because a personal connection is not expected or necessary. I have to create one with authenticity and skill.
You can do this with grocery baggers, waitresses, baristas, and anyone else you exchange services in a transaction lasting for a brief time.
Some of my favorite stories and coolest connections have come from what I’ve learned about the lives, experiences, and lessons of my Uber drivers. People are awesome. Connect with them.
Embrace the chase. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.