James Beck shares the power of creating lasting impressions by practicing service and giving

In 2011, James Beck made the decision to give away all his personal possessions and travel the U.S. doing good deeds without asking for anything other than to pay it forward. Beck, a relationship building expert and TEDx speaker, shared with the Smart Chat Live! audience the message he delivered at a Smart Meetings Experience in Ventura County Coast of how serving others can benefit meeting planners.

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Giving and Getting

The win-win of living, planning events and doing business with a giving mindset is linked to human biology. “When you serve other people, it releases the happiness trifecta,” Beck said. “It releases serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. It opens all the learning centers of your brain.”

Sometimes we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and we tend to have a lot of blind spots. Giving, according to Beck, provides individuals with another view and perspective on life.

The Domino Effect

Beck warned that for those interested in incorporating CSR into the daily agenda, there will be frustrations. There may be moments that don’t necessarily seem important to you, but simple acts of service can have ripple effects.

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“When you serve others, you can’t have any attachment to your time. You listen. You say: How can I help you? You do your best and let it go and let the magic of time give the answers.”

Beck views service as seeds that will eventually yield long-term results for those willing to put in the effort.

The Details

For meeting planners, details are everything. But sometimes even with the best of intentions, things can go awry.

Read More: Tips for Giving Back like a Supplier of the Year

Beck shared a story from his year of driving from one service location to the next with no home base of an appointment he had that was re-scheduled without explanation. Initially frustrated by the news, Beck said nothing and scrambled to find alternative accommodations. He later learned the man’s son had passed away. But in their brief time together, Beck had given the man a wonderful experience that reminded him of all the good times he had with his son and it touched both of them deeply.

“Everyone has very difficult things going on, and we don’t know what they are,” said Beck, “When we can take a step back, we can ask. What can we learn from this? What can we glean? Give people space. Sometimes we realize that when we keep our mouth shut, it’s the best thing we can do.”

Do Your Best

Meeting planners have an uphill task of making sure everyone at their event walks away with an amazing experience. Beck suggests you and your team individually plan to make someone’s day.

“Instead of trying to do everything for everyone, do your best with your plan,” said Beck. He encouraged planners to be a ‘day maker’ by making someone’s day feel special. That could be the AV team working quietly in the back of the room or the convention floor set-up crew that sets the stage for the event.

“Everyone has very difficult things going on, and we don’t know what they are.”

Beck offered the exercise of a Cup of Happiness as a tool for reminding yourself to do a little something extra for the people in your professional and personal life. Insert the names of people you care about in an oversize coffee cup. That can be your partners or team members. Pull out a name and aim to do something kind for them that will ultimately make their day better and help them leave an event with a smile.

“It’s a simple thing that you could do on a consistent basis and also provide boundaries, so it fits into what time you have, but at the same time you’re connecting more than you would by liking someting on social media.”

Service for Wallflowers

If you aren’t someone who enjoys the limelight, consider doing something at your event anonymously for someone else.

“These people are going to think about this gift all day,” said Beck, “When you observe things from a distance there’s a little cosmic giggle that goes on in your in your heart knowing you did that good thing and they’re having a great day because of it.”