No matter how busy life gets, if you leave people feeling that their time with you has been valuable, you’ll generate more opportunities than you ever imagined. Today I’ll share a few easy practices that don’t require much time, only your desire to positively affect other people’s lives. These are small things you can do every day to create a more memorable experience, so when something great comes along people naturally think of you.

Deepen Your Relationships With 5 Simple Habits

1. When you think something positive that you genuinely believe, say it.

Making people feel good is one of the most powerful experiences you can deliver. It sounds like a no brainer, but how many of us actually do it? By simply voicing positive thoughts and making them heard by others, it will strengthen relationships around you. You’ll be letting people know what you believe in a genuine and heartfelt way.

For example, you could be meeting in a client’s office. Perhaps he or she is a partner, and there is a more junior associate present who has a really good idea about how a problem could be solved. You think to yourself, “I admire that. He’s really on the ball.” This is exactly the time to let this person know by saying, “I think it’s great how you’ve tackled this situation head on!” When you voice this positive thought, not only will you make this person’s day because you noticed, but the senior partner will feel good about it too.

Make someone’s day great by voicing something positive you noticed! Tweet this

The opportunity to voice our positive thoughts presents itself to us every day, and we typically underutilize it. The next time you have an awesome meeting with someone, you should let them know. “Hey, I really enjoyed our conversation. I learned something new today, and I hope we get a chance to do this again.”

2. Thank people when they least expect it.

thank youIt’s no secret that thanking people is one of the easiest ways we can show our appreciation.  We often say thank you when we’ve received a gift or when someone has provided a service for us. However, another dramatic way to deepen relationships is to say thank you out of the blue when people least expect it.

For example, suppose a while ago you were introduced by a client to a candidate that you hired for a very important demand generation position. Six months later, you have a review process in place, and things are going very well. The individual you hired is an absolute rock star. Looking back you realize this wouldn’t have been possible without the recommendation from your client.

Reflect on who helped you, and reach out and thank them! Tweet this

If you send a message to the person who introduced you and thank them, it will be very unexpected. They’ll be surprised because it’s been awhile, but they’ll appreciate the time you took to let them know how it went. Whenever something good happens, reflect on who helped you have that experience, and simply reach out and thank them.

3. Smile more. It works!

relationshipsHere’s an easy exercise: Lift the outer corners of your mouth up in a way that feels comfortable and hold this for several seconds. Then shift your attention inward and become aware of your current state of mind. What do you feel? Are you ever so slightly more relaxed and positive?

When you smile at someone, it tends to get reflected back to you in their face. Often people report that the simple act of smiling not only improves their mood, but helps everyone around them feel happier too. At Mindmaven, we started what we call the Mona Lisa smile. This is an easy habit you can practice in the few minutes before a meeting that helps you get into the right mindset. You can read here about the science of smiling and how it affects our moods. I will argue that knowing when to use your Mona Lisa smile is one of the more useful tools that will help you perform at your peak.

4. When you think, “This is valuable,” share it with at least 5 people.

valuableIn our modern world we belong to hundreds of tribes. When we’re part of a tribe, we have things in common; i.e., I am like you, and you are like me. If you find something of value, it’s very likely there will be other people you know who will resonate with that piece of information as much as you do. The only job you have is to share it.

Sharing items of value helps you stay relevant.  Tweet this

Imagine you were recently introduced to someone you truly value. What better way to show your appreciation than by sending something that could help them out? Maybe you came across a great article on recruiting or a fantastic interview of a startup CEO talking about solutions to his hiring challenges. Whatever it is, there ought to be 5 or more people in your network who would also find it intriguing. Make it a new habit, and share these items of value with them. Simply click “forward.”

5. Send one email a day to somebody who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten an email from you.

emailThe tool I recommend for sending these emails out is Contactually. It’s a great tool for organizing all your contacts, and it has functionality built in that reminds you when you need to reach out to these people.

The first thing I would do is go into your contact management system and take a look at your network. A great group to focus on is your Former Clients. These are the people who have seen your work and can speak to its quality. If you’re smart about this habit, you can probably spend less than 3 minutes a day on it. To give you some perspective, it’s just one email a day, but if you do this consistently it results in 260 more emails in a year. You have to ask yourself, “Will this effort yield opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have learned about?” My perception is that it will. In fact, you might even get what I call a breakthrough opportunity out of it.

To illustrate the power of sending out these emails, consider the client who decided to reach out to a former client who had made a career move and was now heading up a 200-person team at a large national retailer. He sent an email to check in with this guy, which yielded a reply saying, “Hey! I’m glad you contacted me. I just took over this project, and we really need your help.” That one email, an email that otherwise might not have been sent, turned into a $5 million opportunity.