The Friday News Minute!

A weekly gem of information you will be using on Monday!

Published by Andrew Sanderbeck

Managing Partner of The People~Connect Institute

The economic times are tough, right? Maybe you have made some adjustments to your way of living these past few months. Going out to eat less often, living more within your budget and perhaps putting off some purchases you might have made a few years ago. Maybe you are putting more money into your savings account too. With all of the changes going on around and inside of your life an important question needs to be asked: How are you doing today?

Living a "giving" life when the people around you aren't very happy

As I write this edition of the FNM I have just returned from 5 days in the San Francisco, California area where my wife and I were invited to work and play. I presented a staff development day program for a group of 350 employees. The presentation went well, despite this announcement made by the organization's leader moments before I began my day long sessions on team building:

"There will be layoffs this year. Some of you will not have jobs in 30-60 days."

The crowd fell silent. Fear started to grip many of the people in the audience. The positive, upbeat energy in the room was gone in only a few seconds.

A few questions about the layoffs were asked by the stunned employees and then it was my turn to engage the audience in an opportunity of continuing education. I knew that this situation called for me to "give" more to an audience than I had ever given before. This audience needed to know that someone cared about them. This audience needed to be loved. They needed answers for their fears. They also needed hope for a better tomorrow.

In an instant the program I had created for them was modified. The team working program would now be delivered with a different focus point: Caring for each other as team members.

The next morning I received an email from the spouse of one of the participants. With his permission, I share his email to me with you.

Dear Mr. Andrew Sanderbeck,

Yesterday, my wife arrived home from staff day and she shared with me some of what transpired during your workshop sessions...She was excited, engaged, absorbed, appreciative, and challenged by your engagement, sharing, teaching, inspiring...
I would like to share this note in appreciation for your kind gift to the staff , and others you have touched...

Wow. The email came at the perfect time. I was physically and emotionally drained from the program. When I had returned to our friends home the night before I was so exhausted that I had to lay down and take a "reenergizing nap" before dinner.

In the kindness of one man's email, a gift of giving, I found my energy level shifting and my feeling of "heaviness" going away.

For 5 days our friends spoiled us by giving of themselves. Effortlessly it seemed, they gave of their time, energy and care to make us feel loved and cherished. Each day that we were with them I could see their happiness grow as they found ways to give to us and to others. One of their gifts was a day trip to Sausalito, California. This small community on the coast with a great view of San Francisco and Alcatraz was a real treat. The great restaurants, shopping and a very laid back atmosphere made for a great day of relaxing and sharing.

When we were returning on our drive from Sausalito, our friends asked if we could briefly meet their daughter and children before dinner. My wife had already met them the day before, and I was excited to meet them too.

It turns out that the meeting was another act of giving...for me. In my workshops on team building I enjoy quoting the work of Patrick Lencioni, especially from his book The 5 Dysfunctions of Teams. My surprise was that our friend's daughter was good friends with the author, and that the she had taken the initiative to get him to sign two of his books to give me.

And even though I had never met her before...she had taken the time to give something of great value to me. I'm not sure who was happier...the giver or the receiver!

It was a wonderful trip to California. To get paid to do the work you love is a blessing. To watch others happily and joyfully give of themselves was inspiring to say the least.

Let this week's Friday News Minute be a reminder to us all that there is great happiness in giving to others without expecting anything in return.

Now that you have been reminded, go practice giving of yourself this weekend and enjoy the gifts that you receive in giving to others.

Andrew Sanderbeck