No. 336

It is common knowledge among consumers who fuel the marvelous American free-enterprise system that one of the greatest assets any business can have is something we call “Good Will.” The good will of a business simply means that the vast majority of the people who patronize it or who are connected in any way hold it in high esteem and feel good about shopping there or doing business on a regular basis. The “Good Will” of a business, over time, can literally mean the difference between success or failure because no amount of positive advertising can offset a firestorm of negative comments made by dissatisfied customers who spread the word about its products and services.
What may not be common knowledge is that for individuals to be successful we need a great deal of good will as well. We can increase our success many times over if we understand that other people have deep subconscious needs and we can help to meet these needs. Over the past several years psychologists have identified many of our subconscious needs, but here is a list of nine of these that every person has. The more of these needs that we can help to meet in the lives of other people, the more successful we will become.
No. 1: “The need or desire to feel accepted.” No. 2: “The need or desire to feel they are approved of.” No. 3: “The need or desire to be admired.” No. 4: “The need or desire to be appreciated.” No. 5: “The need or desire to feel important.” No. 6: “The need or desire for other people to agree with us.” No. 7: “The need or desire for attention.” No. 8: “The need or desire to feel needed.” No. 9: “The need or desire to have outside help, help from God and from other people.”
Now, when you read this list of subconscious needs that we all have, you may not automatically make the connection between helping to meet these needs for others and your own personal success. You will make the connection however, if you will stop to consider that almost everything we need is in the hands of others. If we need more money, other people have it. If we need a job, other people can give it to us. If we need love and approval from others, you guessed it. Same for a promotion and a thousand other things.
Here is a suggestion that I would like to make that can make a tremendous difference in your life. Clip out this column and place it in a location where you can review it often. Human beings are creatures of habit and it will work best if you can do it each day. At this point begin your own ‘Good Will” investment account. Over the coming weeks and months do your best to meet one or more of these subconscious needs for every person you meet or spend time with.
Just think of all the rewards that will come to you if you will begin to make every person feel important, appreciated, needed and to have the assurance that you admire them. When we take the time to make other people feel special, good things will be coming our way very, very soon. It’s just human nature to want to be around people who accept us and like us as a person. We will give them our support, our cooperation and if there is not a dominant reason to do business somewhere else, they will do business with us as well.
Please understand that I am not talking about being someone who goes around patting other people on the back all the time. The key word is genuine. When we are genuine in our relationship and our dealings with others we will get a return on our “Good Will” investment account that is far greater than just material things. This will give us a sense of purpose and a peace about ourselves that only comes to a person who truly cares about others. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)