Gratitude is completely free. You can say thank you over and over again, and it won’t cost you a thing. But, if said sincerely, it will be priceless to the recipient.
Recognition also costs you nothing. Recognizing the effort someone made–win or lose–is easily done. There is always someone who has done something that deserves to be publicly celebrated. Priceless to them; free for you.
You can ask someone if they need help. There are people who need your help. They need your support. You don’t have to open your wallet to help someone. Sometimes all you need to give them is a little bit of your time.
People need to be heard. You can help them with that need by sitting quietly and listening. Make listening your agenda instead of listening to respond. If you really listen, you will be giving someone else an enormous gift. It costs you nothing.
Ask someone to help you. Some people need to be needed. Asking them to share their opinion, to share their ideas, or to share their experience proves you believe their thoughts and feelings are important. Totally free.
Encouragement is free. You can support someone in their endeavor by reminding them that you believe in them even when they don’t. It’s sometimes all they need.
You know how I feel about relationships. People need friends. They need human relationships. You can offer your friendship to someone who needs it without spending a dime (if you don’t want to). Knowing that someone cares for and about you is a deep human need, easily satisfied by a thoughtful action.
All of the things on this list will improve your results because they improve your relationships. They directly improve who you are a person (and especially as a leader). None of them costs you anything other than the tiniest bit of effort and your time. But they produce outsized results.
Don’t skip the questions.
Who are you going to say thank you to right now?
Who are you going to recognize right now?
Who are you going to offer to help tomorrow morning at 8:35 AM?
Who are you going to sit and listen to with no agenda other than ensuring that they know they’ve been heard?
Who are you going to call to ensure that they know you need their advice?
Who is about to give up and needs an encouraging word?
Who could use a real friend?