I feel like the term “building relationships” is very churchy. It’s very concrete for us as Christians but it kind of leaves everyone else scratching their heads. I know that the first thought that comes to mind when we hear the term “relationship” is that of a romance. Two people who are dating or married or something of that nature. However, when we think deeper about it, relationships are multi faceted. We have a relationship with our parents, a relationship with our friends, and even relationships with acquaintances.
My church is big on relationships. Because by building a solid relationship with someone (friendship), we can show them Christ through our love for them. I am a firm believer that loving people, really loving and caring about them, is going to change the world. That being said, I try to be intentional about really showing people that I care. I know it’s really cliche, but You’ll never know how much a small, genuine gesture can change someone’s day. Really.
When I worked at Jamba Juice, we would deal with difficult customers nearly every day. But I remember specifically a couple of our regulars that would always come in and brighten our day.
One of them was a man named Syd. He’s an older man, retired. He would come in and talk to us about which new smoothie he’d want to try, then ask about what was in it, whether it was sweet or sour, and things like that. His go to drink, however is the Caribbean Passion. He would come in almost every day, usually with some kind of goodies in tow for us. One day he brought 2 bags full of avocados for us. Another day, he ordered us a fresh pizza. Another, banana bread from the Farmers Market. Some days, he just came in to give us goodies and to talk with us. I cried every time. To be honest, we were happy just to see him and talk with him, regardless of whether or not he had food for us. He even remembered us outside of work. In fact to this day, he still remembers me and we’ll talk whenever we bump into each other. He is just full of joy and it’s pretty dang contagious. And that’s just one example of how small gestures can lead to a real, caring relationship.
So, here are a couple of small things I do to build relationship and show people that I care.
- I carry little notecards with me in my bag
I try to write a small note to our server whenever we go somewhere to eat. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I forget. But if the person seems like they’re having a bad day, or if our order got messed up or if they were excellent and kind and perfect, I always remember to leave a note for them. A genuine one. I usually thank them for what they do and remind them that what they do matters. Then I’ll add something more personal and leave it with the bill or give it to them personally. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not sure that it’s received well 100% of the time. However, The other night, we went to our local diner and had a nice conversation with our waitress during our meal. Afterward, I wrote her a note and guess what? She hugged me and told us that we were a blessing to her and thanked us for being so kind. It’s the small things y’all!
- Talk with people every chance you get
If you just got a paycheck or need to deposit money, skip the mobile deposit and go into the bank. Talk to an actual teller! They are living, breathing people who’s job it is to help you and speak to you. This is something I need to make a conscious effort to do. It’s so easy to snap a pic with my phone and get my money within 1/2 an hour. I need the money in my account ASAP (come on, I know I’m not the only one like this, we’re all broke to an extent). The banks close early and I don’t finish work in time to go on most days. The excuses go on and on. However, when I get intentional about these things, I can plan on going into the bank on my lunch break, or leaving work earlier one day out of the week instead of rushing to get my money.
Building relationships doesn’t have to be hard! If we’re intentional about it and shift Some of the small things that we already do, we can make a huge difference in people’s lives without even knowing it.