Over the past several years, I’ve been fortunate to travel to HR conferences all over the U.S. I’ve had to learn how to be a “good” traveler through much anxiety and frustration. I know that is an unfounded fear, but I’m just being candid.
This past week I was fortunate to travel to New Orleans to be the opening keynote speaker for the Louisiana SHRM State Conference. It was an amazing event and checked off another item from my personal bucket list. But I digress . . .
To catch my flight, I awoke at 3:00am to drive down to the airport and make sure I was there two hours before my flight. Now, I know there are people who are regularly up and about and working at this hour, but very few. Driving the major highways was wonderful because I must have only passed 20 cars or so. I cruised down to the long-term parking lot where I normally park each trip and was given my allotted row to settle in. As I groggily stumbled out of my car to get my luggage, the shuttle pulled up to take me up to the airport as it always does. However, this time was much different !!
“Well, GOOD MORNING !! Are you excited to catch your flight today?”
This was NOT how I expected to be greeted at 3:45am. Not at all.
“Jump up on board. I have a few other folks to gather and then we’ll be on our way.”
His over the top cheeriness was an incredible surprise. He was genuine and pleasant. Two others joined the shuttle and he welcomed them in the same joyful manner. As we headed out of the lot and up to the terminal, he continued.
“So, which airline is everyone on? We’ll be up there in just a few minutes.” We responded and he kept going.
“I just love my job !! I get to meet new people every day and they’re all from different backgrounds and headed to different places. I especially love kids who fly. They’re so excited about getting on a plane, and when they return they’re even more excited about where they’ve been. I love hearing their stories. You guys are my last trip up and back tonight and then it’s off to home and bed. It’s been a great day !!”
I sat in the shuttle with a gigantic smile on my face. Any stress or travel anxiety had disappeared and I was ready to go. His approach to his work is still sticking to me. He doesn’t have the more glamorous, visible or high level job. He is in a role where people more often than not don’t want to interact with the others sitting next to them. He didn’t ask if he could share his joy, he just did it. I feel that he does this with everyone who has the fortune to ride his shuttle.
Is this how you view your job?
I doubt it. To be honest, even though I consider myself a positive person, I don’t have this natural level of joy all the time. However, it was so infectious that I’ve decided that this is my goal going forward. Think of how HR would be within companies if this was our approach every day. How would you feel about yourself? How would you treat and view others?
I think it would be magnificent !!
This week own this approach. Love your work. Love your job and take steps to intentionally engage others. It changes your day for the better !!