Look around at the people who are your biggest cheerleaders–always encouraging you on –believing in your eminent success.

How often do you take the time to thank them? How many times do you say it with actions, instead of words?

When I took the time to give back to my supporters with personal Thank You’s (ranging from free services I knew they would be grateful to receive–to a special lunch together) I discovered a valuable lesson.

It’s the process itself that is so important – the process of trying to figure out what I could give back to my supporters–something to be truly appreciated.  Because in doing so, I had to make the effort to really get to know the person…details of their life I hadn’t ask about before. I learned about their family, passions, hobbies, hopes and dreams. I found out what makes them unique.

The more I worked at this process, the more I discovered that it didn’t feel like work at all–it was fun. The more I learned about each person, the more creative I felt and more ideas came to me. I started paying more attention to conversations and picking up little hints and details lost on me before.

Now I can use the same process to get to know and understand my business prospects and clients. It’s easy to fall into habits when we meet and greet new people–but this exercise allows you to stop and concentrate on a whole new level of awareness. You’ll find you pay closer attention to what is being said.

In the long run, it can make you a more interesting person too. People can tell when you are truly listening and engaged in what they are saying.

Practice this every chance you get. Your reward will be a huge boost in motivation and creativity. And those around you will feel appreciated and honored.