There is an old saying, “People will forget what you say but they will always remember how you made them feel.” If you want to be known as someone who makes people feel good, be willing to go the extra mile.
To go the extra mile simply means to do more than is required to accomplish a task or reach a goal. Going the extra mile can mean a number of things such as:
- Sending an appreciation note or Thank You card to someone who did a good job.
- Surprising a customer with an unexpected gift.
- Giving someone a compliment for their smile or the way they dress.
- Providing someone a resource for free that will help them accomplish a goal easier and faster.
- Introducing people so they can either network or form new relationships.
One example of someone going the extra mile was a handyman who once did some maintenance work in my home. He was hired to fix one issue and while he was there, I asked him whether he could have a look at something else that was a problem in the house. He was hired by the company that managed the complex I lived in so he was only going to get paid for the job he was hired to fix.
Not only was he willing to look at the other issue in my home, he went out and got a new part from a hardware store to fix the issue. He didn’t just go the extra mile once – he fixed issues in my house on multiple occasions without charging me for it. I was so impressed with his level of service that when I wanted to upgrade my television in my home, I decided to give him my old television and an entertainment unit to him for free, which totally surprised him.
Here are five reasons or benefits of why going the extra mile can pay off in a big way over the long run, especially if we are responsible for teams or customers.
- It will help you relate to people a lot better. In order to have this mindset of going the extra mile, we will be required look for ways to make other people’s lives better. For example, if you’re a business owner, you will find out more details about your employees or customers — things like birthdays, anniversaries, milestones achieved or goals they want to achieve. Rather than focusing on what you can get, you will automatically be focused on what you can give.
- You will attract people who share similar values. If you’re a business owner, you will attract the right customers, the right vendors and also the right employees. If we have a giving mindset, others around us will also adopt a similar mindset. This is the law of reciprocity at play — the more we give, the more we will receive. We will be setting an example for others we interact with to do the same.
- People will be loyal to you. People generally only associated with those they know, like and trust. If we develop a reputation of being generous, others will want to stay connected with us. An additional benefit is we will be rewarded unexpectedly or when we least expect it by those who’ve felt good interacting with us.
- You will form a positive mental attitude. We sometimes fall into the trap of looking for things that are not going well or are quick to point out something someone has not done well. By being willing to go the extra mile, we will be required to look for the good in people and the positive things they are doing. Best of all, this attitude will make us feel good about ourselves, which in turn, will boost our self confidence and self-esteem.
- You will look for additional ways to make people’s lives better or more enjoyable. As a parent, you will want to do things for your kids that will show them how much they mean to you and how special they are. As a business owner, you will want to make your team better unified or connection and formulate ways to make them perform better. You will also think of ways to help your customers achieve what they want a lot easier.
How To Determine If You’ve Been Going The Extra Mile
Here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to get more clarity whether you have been going the extra mile or not, and to get ideas on how to do it more consistently.
- What have I done in the last two months that helped make a team member or customer’s life easier? Have I exceeded expectations? Why or why not?
- What can I do that will make me stand out from others in a positive way?
- Who can I enrol or what resources could I use to hold me more accountable for going the extra mile?
If we consistently treat others the way we’d like to be treated ourselves, not only will we be more successful, we will stand out from others and develop a reputation as someone others want to associate with. If we aren’t willing to go the extra mile, we won’t leave a lasting impression with others and will not distinguish ourselves from others in any way.
Action Step: Decide on one thing you can do today to go the extra mile. It could be to send out a Thank You email to a team member or customer or sending someone a surprise gift. It doesn’t have to be any big — often the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.
Question: What could be another benefit of going the extra mile?
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