Let's commit to delighting others at the workplace, and in the community

Inspired by renowned author Ron Kaufman at the Lazada Learning Festival 2022, Lester Tan is on a mission to delight those at home, the workplace, and the community.

I have a confession to make.

I did not give my 100% attention to author Ron Kaufman’s talk at the Lazada Learning Festival 2022. He was talking about uplifting service, the cornerstone of his New York Times bestselling book. And I, unfortunately, lost focus as “delighting customers” did not feel relevant to what I am currently doing in the workplace.

But I soon realised how wrong I was. What Kaufman imprinted upon me is that the act of ‘delighting’ isn’t limited to time, place, and people. In fact, ‘delighting’ can be ingrained in my DNA, and be the essence of my character to make the world a better place to live in.

The act of ‘delighting’ mustn’t be confused with the act of ‘currying favour’.

It is, as Kaufman put it, “contributing to the wellbeing of others”. The service culture guru explained that to make that contribution is to step up, take personal responsibility, and create a better experience for someone else whether it is at home, the workplace, or within the community. And what taking personal responsibility represents, Kaufman shared, is when you see something that can be done, or should be done, you step forward, and elect yourself to be the one to do it. With this behaviour, you’re showing to everyone else that we can be responsible for creating an environment where living well with others is possible.

So what does this entail in everyday behaviours? This can be as simple as holding the lift door a tad longer than usual assuming someone is just on the way; or at work, making the effort to understand someone else’s workflow and contributing your knowledge-based input rather than letting them work from scratch on your project; or flagging the bus down for someone who is chasing after it to make sure they don’t miss it.

The point is to be more aware of our behaviour, and to be more intentional in thinking for others.

To sum up, here’s what I want all of us to take away – and they are three simple quotes. One, from the Biblical realm, “love thy neighbour as thyself”. Two, in the linguistic world, “treat others as you wish to be treated”. And three, part of Kaufman’s teachings, “a life well-lived contributes to the wellbeing of others” whether it is physically, emotionally, or psychologically.

This is so, both you and I, can leave this place better than we found it.

So, join me in ‘delighting’ others.

Also readYour employees appreciate workplace honesty more than you think


Find this column in the latest Q1 '22 edition of the SEA e-magazine! In this edition, you can also look forward to a range of enriching interviews with leaders across APAC - from Zalora, dentsu International, Microsoft, and more.

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