A few years ago, I remember a woman I know posting on Twitter that her daughter had said “this is the best day of my life. We went to the park, we’re going to mcdonalds, I found a penny. The best day of my life.”
She was 5 at the time, but she had already been through a lot, dealing with a very scary brain tumor that year. And that, plus a few big things going on in my own life and friends’ lives, have me thinking – the best days of my life really have been about the little things.
Sure, graduating from college was exciting, buying my first house was exciting (well, more nerve-wracking and expensive than exciting), but were they the “best” days of my life?
Those have been about the little things – the first time each of my nieces said my name for the first time (or any time they say it, frankly). Every time one of my dogs comes racing over to see me like I’m his favorite person in the world (I am). Slipping my hand into the hand of the person I love for the first time. Crossing the line of my first marathon (okay, that was kind of a big one). Really focusing to help a friend going through a tough time, and knowing that being there makes a difference. Laughing until I cry with women who really get me. Those are some of my best days.
What does this have to do with relationship development in the law?
It’s all about the little things.
It’s about remembering it’s your client’s birthday and sending them a quick note of good wishes. It’s about seeing something in the news that will affect your client’s business in the future and dropping them an email or a phone call to let them know. It’s about calling back promptly, even when you have no news to report, just so you can check in and let them know you’re thinking about their issue. It’s about offering to help a colleague or client without getting anything out of it. It’s about sending a note of congratulations when you see they’ve been promoted or changed jobs, because you genuinely wish them well. It’s about showing up, and being present.
These little things all add up to the big stuff – clients who are loyal because they know you’re there for them. Colleagues who look to help you out, because you’re always helping them out.
Plus, doing something for someone else will make YOU feel good – everyone wins.
What little things can you do today to make it your best day?