Many years ago, I was in a meeting that had a surprising outcome. The effect has stayed with me all these years. In my company at the time, we had the luxury of attending one of the first meetings held in our brand new office building. It was beautiful. The design took full advantage of natural lighting, open spaces, and everyone loved the neutral color scheme. You could still smell the wet paint in the air as we found our way to our seats.
On this particular day, the CEO was leading a discussion and we were thrilled just to have the privilege of hearing him speak. He was a kind man who made everyone he spoke to feel special; like they were the only one in the room. He had a way of making you feel at ease in his presence. He treated everyone with immense respect regardless of their title or position on the org chart. He asked questions that conveyed his sincere interest in your life and then consistently remembered the details even years later. When he spoke, you could tell that he had put much thought into what he said. You always knew you would learn a valuable life lesson and that you would walk away from the experience a better person as a result.