I was preparing for an EQ workshop for a group of auto mechanic workshop business owners and posed the following question to a network of my peers – “If you have a favourite auto mechanic, what attributes do they have that causes you to use them again and again? What turns you off?”

Here’s a wonderful story shared by Deborah Hall:

“I have the most wonderful Mechanics story ever that I would like to share!

It was a cold November morning and I was about five months overdue to have new tires put on my car. Buying tires does not have retail appeal for me. Needless to say I waited until the last moment before taking the plunge to buy them. I had been laid off a few months before and I was just stalling for time. I don’t know why.

On this particular morning I reluctantly went into the Tire Centre, one that had been recommended to me by friends. I spoke with the owner and we decided on the best set of tires for my car and I sat down to wait. When the car was ready I went over to ask him how much? He replied, “There’s no charge.” Just like that.

In that moment, everything went dead still. Just picture the hustle bustle of an auto shop and I heard nothing! I said to the owner, “Pardon?” He is now getting a bit frustrated with me because he is trying to keep this on the “low”. He repeated “Will this help you out?” I said with a wide-eyed, gaped mouth, “Yes.” and he said “No charge.” And then sent me on my way.

I walked out of the shop in a bit of a daze. It really was very surreal. I got into my car, drove down the street a bit, started calculating how much it would have cost me…tallying up roughly $1200.00 in my head, and I burst into tears! I mean, who does things like this in this day and age??!!!

Well, I can say that he did. He was an Earth Angel to me that day. His one small act of kindness probably did more for his business than any advertising could have done in the life of the company. He did not know me. He did not know my story. And, what he did not know was that by giving a bit, he got a lot more back in return.

I have told this story to all of my friends, business associates, and basically anyone who will listen. It is such an incredibly amazing story! He has, I know, received a lot of business because of that one very selfless, very humanitarian act.”

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

The story above reminds me of an Emotional Competency that makes one stand out – “Service Orientation”. The adage “people don’t remember what you do, they remember how you make them feel” is worth keeping top of mind.

To build this competency, a habit I’ve learned to cultivate is to direct my thoughts to the following question regularly “who can I help today with my skills, resources and talents?” and take that action! This is personally the most powerful advice I can offer anyone as a “stress buster”. Whenever I feel anxiety coming on e.g. about when and if that next assignment will come in, I find that by thinking about others, fear dissipates. I feel energised and it helps me be “solutions” rather than problem oriented.

In the words of Zig Ziglar –

“you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want”.

Have a truly outstanding day!