The Power of Small…Equals Big Success
Our smallest actions and gestures often have outsized impact on our biggest goals. Did you double-check that presentation one last time, or hold the elevator for a stranger? Going that extra inch – whether with a tenant, landlord, family member or friend – speaks volumes to others about our talent, personality and motivations. After all, if we can’t take care of the small details, how can we be counted on to deliver when it really matters?
In today’s challenging times, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, it’s often the baby steps that put us on the path to delivering a true competitive advantage. The real secret to getting ahead in life and in our careers is to refocus our attention on the small details that, if disregarded, can sabotage an important rental deal or undermine your most important client relationships. And thanks to authors Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval in their book, The Power of Small, they show how to get more of what you want with surprisingly less than you’d imagine – which is welcome news as real estate agencies navigate the current pandemic.
Written in the same entertaining, story-driven style that made their first book, The Power of Nice, the go-to book for finishing first into an international bestseller, The Power of Small demonstrates how all of us can harness the power of small to improve and reinvent our lives. It’s the ultimate guide to shrinking your outlook to broaden your horizons.
Small, seemingly insignificant acts are powerful agents of change and growth – if we pay attention to them. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we’re constantly told to concentrate on the big things, to not sweat the small stuff. Because of that, we often feel that incremental change doesn’t count for much – it doesn’t pay off. We celebrate milestones, and ignore the daily victories that herald persistent substantial change over time.
Sometimes we need a moment to step away from the big picture and focus on the little things, the important things, and those seemingly trivial things that need our attention…right now. The “little” things are generally not difficult; they just take a little extra time and demand a little extra effort. It might be a client call that you continue to put off, an email that needs to be proofed before sending, a word of encouragement to a staff member, a smile as we hold the door for a potential tenant, or a surprise “thank you” note to a long-standing landlord for their continued business. Whatever the task, remember that the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
In their book, The Power of Small, Kaplan Thaler and Koval argue that bigger isn’t always better. In fact, these authors present us with the challenge that our smallest actions, words and gestures often lead to our greatest long-term rewards and outcomes. In short, our kindness, willingness to help, attention to detail, attitude, desire to offer a positive word or our simple “please” and “thank yous” will make all the difference in building strong relationships.
Property teams tend to work harder when they know others care about them and want the best for them. As a result, our smallest actions and gestures can often have the largest impact on our workplace relationships and long-term team successes. It doesn’t take much but doing the little things may be the difference between a good service and a great service experience when it comes to property management.
Below are five suggestions for doing the “little things” that can give you the competitive advantage over others.
- Look for “little” opportunities: Look for opportunities to practice “little” actions and gestures that promote kindness and encouragement, as well as build commitment and confidence. Offer a word of encouragement or be complimentary when others least expect it. Say “nice job,” “please,” “great work,” “thank you,” and “I appreciate your effort.” Be positive, uplifting, and esteeming when working and interacting with fellow staff
2. Double check and think again before you hit send: In a technology-driven world, every piece of communication, email, text, Twitter, Facebook, or personal blogs is but one small click away from becoming “front-page” news. What you say, the words you choose and how and where you choose to communicate things have the potential to be made available for all to see, read and interpret. So, re-read the email for proper wording and tone, think about how your text or tweet might be perceived, make sure all addresses and names are correct and consider who might read what you’re posting or sending. Stop, double check and think again is the rule of thumb.
3. Have respectful, open dialogue with staff: Make helpful suggestions and offer constructive input for making your team better. You have a voice, so use it appropriately and with respect. Be specific, but if you’re going to complain about anything…you must offer suggestions for how to fix the problem.
4. Remember everyone matters: Everyone has something to offer your property management business. As a manager or supervisor, be sure to encourage your staff and remind them how important and valuable they are to the team. Everyone does matter and they need to feel like they do.
5. Appreciate the little things: Slow down. At the end of each day make a list of three positive things that took place…then take the time to appreciate them. Did a staff member compliment you today? Is a staff member’s attitude improving? Are your supervisors stepping up and improving their leadership? Whatever was positive today, take the time to appreciate it.
So, whether it’s succeeding at work or just getting through the pressures of a long, hard day, today’s challenges seem so overwhelming during the COVID-19 pandemic that we often feel stuck and don’t know where to start. Filled with inspiring stories, helpful tools, and practical advice, The Power of Small shows how “sweating the small stuff” can transform our lives and help us navigate through these uncertain times. The way to rebuild your business, our industry, the economy – even the world – is to refocus our attention on the small gestures and little details that really matter.
In this book, the authors make a great case for why small can be better than big. In fact, paying attention to the small stuff now can set you up for more success. You need to be detail oriented on just about everything because if you miss something, it can have a serious negative outcome. The book also does an excellent job of sharing real world stories of successes from the authors and others as a result of paying attention to the small stuff, reinforcing why details are so important.
Same is true for building relationships. For example, you need to pay attention to your appearance at all times. Double check your teeth for food or your shirt for stains. Don’t be caught in public with things that you could’ve prevented. You don’t want people to see you as unprofessional.
Above it all, in today’s world we’re faced with overwhelming challenges both professionally and personally. We often feel stuck and don’t even know where to start. But we can all tap into the unbelievable power we have within to “get going” and make a huge difference in our lives and the lives of others. How? By simply starting small.