5 Tips For Making Brief Encounters Memorable

How many times do we find ourselves in situations with people we know we’ll probably never see again….ever?

Do you give this much thought? I must admit I usually don’t, but I remember thinking about it after a visit to a local hospital at this time last year.

Early on a Saturday morning, a smiling receptionist and an exceptionally skilled radiology technician teamed up to provide me a short, but memorable MRI experience.

Here’s how they did it:

  • Sarah, the receptionist, efficiently handled her job of registering me. She did it with a friendly smile and tone, from start to finish. It wasn’t a goofy smile, it was an authentic one. You know the kind. The kind that you hire for, instead of trying to train for.
  • Eric, the technician, made a positive impression immediately by addressing me as “sir”. Call me a sucker for good manners, but I appreciate being addressed professionally. This seems like a lost art.
  • Once we entered the MRI room, Eric prepped me by ensuring I was comfortable. He added extra support under my arms and gave me a set of headphones playing my favorite rock songs from the 70’s. He also asked me a critical question, “Are you claustrophobic?” Luckily I’m not, especially since I was about to be loaded into something akin to a torpedo tube.
  • Midway through the 15-20 minute procedure, Eric paused it to ask, “Mr. Gallagher, is everything ok?” Wow, I appreciated his use of my name, along with the chance the pause gave me to reposition my body a bit. Dale Carnegie, the author of How To Win Friends and Influence People, was definitely right. His Principle # 3 says, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
  • When it was over, Eric shook my hand, thanked me and we said our good-byes. (I thanked both of them too)

I realize that nothing here is terribly earth-shattering, but it’s another good reminder about how an honest smile, a caring attitude, a professional approach, and the use of someone’s name can leave a very positive mark on the people we encounter in the world.

Of course, everything here can make a difference with our family, friends and coworkers too!

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer (Physician, theologian, missionary)

Question: What positive impressions and memories might you create for someone during your next “brief” encounter?