We spend a lot of time talking about “emotional connectivity” and how the world’s great communicators and salespeople are often able to touch other people emotionally, consistently raising their moods when they touch them. We also know that many studies have shown that emotions are contagious, and that the person with more positivity and energy is likely to raise the mood of someone who is in a neutral to negative state. People who can raise other peoples’ moods are very special. They are held in very high esteem in our culture whether in entertainment (picture Jon Stewart or Oprah) in business and in our personal lives.
I always like to stop and appreciate such gifted people and soak up their positive energy because they are so invigorating, and you never know when they are going to pop up . . . could be a new friend or a waiter or even a cashier. But last week I ran across someone who reinforced this dynamic more quickly and more powerfully than I have experienced in years. So I want to share this story . . . a little longer than usual but hang in there with me.
I was traveling on business and had a meeting on the top floor in a beautiful new office tower. Most of the floors in the top half of the building were occupied by a big law firm, so as I made my way to the top of the building, the elevator was stopping frequently to let the law firm’s people on and off.
When I first got on the elevator in the lobby, I was so preoccupied with my upcoming meeting that I literally did not notice someone else had gotten on ahead of me, but that was about to change.
“How are you today!!!?”
A booming voice had shattered the usual, numb silence of the elevator. I am pretty tall and when I quickly looked around there was no on at eye level.
“What a beautiful day! I hope you had some time to walk around a little and enjoy it! This is the best time of year.”
I finally looked down and found the source of this MASSIVE energy surge . . . it was a very petite woman, middle aged, who had a smock on . . . the kind that people that are responsible for cleaning up lunch rooms often wear and the like, and judging by her cart that was her job. I was still in pre-meeting mode and was both surprised and distracted, so I simply said something like, “Yes, it is.” But of course SHE, not I, was controlling the energy on this elevator ride.
“Where did you go for lunch? Did you have anything good? I just had a delicious bowl of chicken soup at Potbelly!!”
OK, SHE HAD ME . . . I was now in the moment and turned all my attention to this smiling, happy, vivacious little bundle of energy.
“I went down the street to Leo’s and had a deli sandwich. It was great!” I replied.
“Oh Leo’s…They’re the best! I have to be careful there. I put on too much weight!”
About then, the door opened and a man and a woman got on. They each smiled when they spotted my new friend and they all greeted each other by name.
“Hi Mr. Barnes, Hi Ms. Clay!”
As we continued our vertical journey, I was privileged to watch this GIFTED person reach out and touch everybody that got in and out of the elevator. And the exchanges were always the same. Recognition, smiles and warmth, every single time.
Finally, it came time for Mary to exit. We were alone again. As the doors opened, she reached over and touched my hand and said, “Enjoy the beautiful day!” Then, and only then, as she left the elevator and made her way up the hall, did I really notice several things:
She was way less than five feet tall.
As she walked, she had a noticeable limp, although it did not slow her down.
And, now that I had a moment to think about it, she had some sort of intellectual challenge . . . not sure what it was, but the law firm had probably worked with a counseling service to hire her to help with the food service cleanup, (which in itself is a wonderful policy).
And yet, even with this bundle of challenges, her incredibly powerful heart, soul and will absolutely transcended them . . . she was not small . . . she was HUGE! She was not challenged. She was GIFTED! TRANSCENDENT! MAGNIFICANT! She raised my spirits. She made me smile. She made my day! Three minutes and I will never forget her! She was irresistible . . . she would not let you walk away without connecting.
This is what we try to teach in our books, blog and workshops. It was breathtaking to experience it in its full glory. We all have the potential to do this . . . Right now!