You Had Me at Hello

The other day I walked into a local coffee shop to get my morning tea with my computer in hand. I needed to check my email and post a few things. I was absorbed with the task at hand. I picked up my tea, found a spot to work, and set about completing my tasks.

About fifteen minutes later, a woman walked up to me with whom I had sat in a group setting at Peet’s and had conversations. She asked me if I was okay, and I replied that I was okay. She then said, “Well, you didn’t say hello.” I explained I had been distracted by finishing some work. She said sternly, “Well, you should say hello next time.”

I share this with you because it reminded me of the importance of acknowledging people. In my business, we have a rule that my team must greet everybody who walks through our door within five seconds of them doing so. We offer them a “Hello” followed by their name. It is common practice that a person is often greeted by several of my team all at once. We even challenge each other to see who can say hello first to someone as they enter our school.

So my humble advice is to show everyone who walks through your door just how important they are by acknowledging them by name and with a “Hello.” This simple act of gratitude is one of the best retention tools I can recommend. And believe me; I will be mindful of offering that woman a hello next time I see her.