Matzah Ball Soup
“Being considerate of others will take you and your children further in life than any college or professional degree.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman
“It’s one thing to harbor a sense of empathy and another to put it into action. Considerate people are not only capable of figuratively putting themselves in other people’s shoes, they also actively choose to view the world beyond themselves. Their sense of compassion for others drives them to connect, and they derive personal joy and satisfaction from this selfless exchange.” ~ Alena Hall
Do you like soup? Many people like soup whether a thin broth or a hearty mix. Cold, warm, hot or any temperature. Realizing a lot of people like soup, have you ever thought of sending soup as a show of gratitude? Soup is a considerate gift that soup lovers would enjoy and it shows someone that you are thinking about them.
Let’s rewind a little, have you ever sent or done something as a show of gratitude to someone who had never actually asked you for anything? Beyond the typical book and handwritten note, when I show appreciation, I get personal. I sent the soup as a show of consideration because I was aware the person would greatly appreciate a good bowl more than perhaps anything else. And it was important and satisfying for me to let them know I cared about them and all they had done for me.
For many the workplace word now is empathy. Consideration takes empathy and puts it beyond emotion into action. So, while you may feel for your employees or team, unless you put those feelings into an actual gesture, they may not understand. How and why is this important for you and your people? It shows people, like quoted in “Avatar”, I see you. Strong leaders display consideration naturally because they pay attention to people beyond themselves.
Showing consideration could be sending or giving someone a tangible thing, like soup. And, it could also be as simple as speaking encouragement, allowing someone to go before you in a line or in a discussion, asking for someone’s availability before announcing your schedule, or asking for someone’s opinion when you are aware they want to weigh in, yet haven’t.
Getting back to the soup, I sent matzah ball soup and rye bread from a New York eatery to my business mentor in Northern California. It was to thank him for all the time and effort he’s invested in me and my business. He had mentioned during one of our conversations that he missed a great bowl of matzah ball soup and couldn’t find one since he moved to Northern California. Because I pay attention when I’m virtually or actually with someone, I took note. He deserved a good bowl of soup. So when I could sense he could appreciate it the most during the shorter days of the year when there was nothing special to celebrate, I sent it.
Soup not your thang, another example, this one without food, was when I presented inside knowledge about job searches to C level executives in transition. We had an energetic conversation, yet I noticed a few people weren’t speaking. I asked each executive who had been quiet about their thoughts or comments about something in particular. The energy in the room changed. And you could immediately see them “light up” and become more talkative in general. Afterward each of those people walked up to me and thanked me personally for recognizing them. They felt seen and appreciated.
This is similar to when I was sharing knowledge about different leadership styles with college business students. I had them building Lego towers within small groups with one person practicing a particular leadership style in leading the rest of their group. After building time, we talked about it. Of course, the leader for each group spoke and other students who were usually vocal. Since every student played, I was able to ask the quiet students for their feedback too. Like the executives, their demeanor changed when they were able to offer their opinions, understanding people actually wanted to hear them. They smiled and probably spoke more than they were initially expecting to. Inclusion is part of my DNA, so I feel elevated when everybody has a voice; I was smiling too.
Why do I understand consideration is special? I am not a unicorn, I’ve also been on the receiving end of consideration. For instance, one of my clients learned that during our consulting project I would be taking a week’s off for a hiking trip to Provence. A week after our conversation, I received a basket of oils, lotions, soaps and herbs from Provence. I will never forget her generosity and how she showed that not only had she paid attention to our conversations beyond business, but she appreciated me and my efforts so much that she wanted to go beyond a written “thank you” and payment.
Saying thank you or listening to someone shows only a modicum of authenticity; in fact, it could be automatic pilot or a reflex. Yet, if you want it to matter that you truly listened to someone and appreciated their efforts, you don’t have to be extravagant, just demonstrate it in some way that they would appreciate. They will remember it far longer than “thank you.” And the recognition for your consideration in return is often respect, loyalty and more and better effort.
Want to work on your consideration? Or, do you have a team member or direct report who needs to further develop their consideration for others, email me: susan@susangoldbergleadership.
Remember, strong leaders display consideration naturally because they pay attention to people beyond themselves. And they get better results from their people because of it. Be an influencer, go past the trend toward speaking about compassion – exhibit consideration.
I’ve been where you are now standing which is why I’ve worked with different consultants to up my game as a leader too. It’s a strength to understand when you want to move ahead and can benefit from someone else’s experience and resources who have been in your position before and can relate to you. To learn more and discover which of the services within Golden Monocle™ suit your needs, contact me, Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com .
My work as a leadership and communication expert has me go into organizations, as an outside unbiased view to look at the information gaps. Using sensitivity along with proprietary and trademarked solutions including a team mapping tool, Collaboration Beyond Words™, I identify what an organization and/or its leaders are missing that’s holding them back from thriving and continuing to stay relevant. Have practices become entrenched or no longer fit your plans for today’s workplace and goals? Contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com Let’s talk.