With everything going on in the world right now, I am inviting practitioners of all professions to do many acts of kindness to counter the abundance of information about fear, divisiveness, and illness all around the world.
As Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17, there’s no better time to share a little bit of kindness to your clients. Here are some acts of kindness that we have adopted in our firm:
- When scheduling an event with a client, think about their personal and family circumstances, and whether the time you offer makes sense for the client.
- Reply promptly to client communications, even if it’s to simply confirm receipt of the email and let them know you’ll be in touch in ‘x’ number of days. (Tip: schedule it in your calendar to attend to it as promised so you don’t forget.)
- Clients usually retain only a fraction of what we say to them because their brain can be processing some fear response from the circumstances they are in, which impacts short-term memory. With this in mind, show compassion when clients ask you to repeat the information, or when they have not done what they committed to doing yet.
- Provide prompt, clear, point-form lists of what is expected of clients with clear timelines.
- Invite your office personnel to provide an extra few minutes of kindness when interacting with clients.
Colleagues have joined in and have shared some of their own acts of kindness:
- These are very relevant and helpful reminders as we are all dealing with real people who have unique concerns, fears and vulnerabilities. It’s so important to really listen to clients and find out what they care about. We should always be flexible enough to adjust (or even abandon) our intended agenda for a meeting on the fly to make the discussion comfortable and beneficial for the client. [Ori Mandowsky, Gluskin Sheff]
- Sometimes everyone needs a reminder of the important things in life. Many clients are so stressed that they have trouble remembering some of what we’ve discussed, so an email reminder, or “to do” list can be very helpful. [Debbie Shawn, Divorce Matters]
- Hold an attitude of compassion as a day-to-day orientation and commitment. See one’s life as being of service to others. On bad days having colleagues or ways to let off the natural steam that collects. Cultivate compassionate neutrality by listening as opposed to solutioning. Cultivate coming from the heart where those softer empathetic feelings arise. Do heart meditation. [Hilary Bowring, Divine Align]
- Offer and give a safe space to express their financial concerns with free discovery call and try to lead and inspire them towards a path they can take on their own while holding their hand through the process; sending a summary email about some solutions provided or script to help them negotiate with their banks; making myself available every Friday on WhatsApp from noon to 1pm to answer any money/insurance and mortgage questions/concerns; negotiated special prices for family wills for client’s best interest to create one; sending them encouragement texts or emails out of the blue to let them know that they are not alone in this and they are fully supported. [Melanie Rousseau, Money Mama]
- At our firm, we also try to respond to every email even if only to say we acknowledge receipt and when we might respond. We also try to be connectors and help clients get the right person to help them with their matter. We refer a lot of work that we could do to others, if we feel that someone else could do the work at a better price point for the client. I always tell my associates that you want at the end of the day to put your head on your pillow and feel that you did the best that you could, and that you worked to help clients as if they were your relatives/friends. [Anonymous]
You are probably doing your own acts of kindness. I would love to hear about them as I am working on a publication about this topic.