From time to time each of knows what it’s like to put our own needs first–that’s pretty normal, right? Of course it is. The real question to ask ourselves is do we make the time to focus on others when they need us, even if they don’t ask.

Recently I was privileged to earn the business of a new corporate client. My primary contact is a local person even though this company’s employees are all over the globe. At our second face-to-face meeting I began as I typically do with some small talk and had the sense that my contact was not having a great day. I chose to probe somewhat and turns out I was correct because I learned the person had just received devastating news about a family member’s health.

I invited the person to discuss this issue openly and my offer was accepted. At first it felt awkward since we certainly don’t have a longstanding relationship and yet it seemed like the natural step to take. As it turns out, I’m glad I took this “risk” because it felt really good to offer support. We’ve now spoken multiple times both by phone and in person and there’s clearly a strong connection.

It’s my belief that as a result of this type of interaction our communication has been fortified. It takes courage to do this but when you think about it, it’s really about offering to be a good listener and not to solve a problem.

The more I think about it I believe it’s largely about making the shift from ME to WE. We never know when we’ll appreciate someone being there for us so why not offer this same gesture to others. Pretty good chance it’ll be welcomed as it was in my situation.