- Do for others what they can’t do for themselves. Introduce people to contacts, or offer them opportunities that they wouldn’t find on their own.
- Listen with your heart. To quote President Woodrow Wilson: “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”
- Add value to people. Believe in them, stretch them, open doors for them and keep their best interests at heart.
- Tell a good story. Deliver it with gusto, tell it with the goal of connecting, and assume that others want to hear it.
- Give with no strings attached. If you think in terms of quid pro quo, give up that mind-set and give more.
- Point out people’s strengths. Build—and draw—on them.
- Write notes of encouragement. Days before he died, the cleric John Wesley wrote to William Wilberforce, who was fighting to abolish slavery in England. Wilberforce suffered defeats in Parliament and was tempted to give up, but every time he became discouraged, he re-read the note from Wesley. Eventually, he won.
- Help people win. At his nephew’s first Little League game, Maxwell offered ridiculous, outsized amounts of encouragement. This included cheering wildly even when the kid missed the ball by a mile, and, eventually, running the bases with him and sliding home with him. Years later, his nephew won a baseball scholarship.
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