Let us choose to spread joy as we offer service others

hugs

 In this file photo taken on December 11, 2021 a person dressed as Santa Claus offers free hugs at SantaCon 2021 in Times Square in New York.  

Photo credit: Timothy A Clary | AFP

During the festive season, I like to reflect on the subject of joy. What is joy? What brings joy? What steals our joy? Is joy a feeling or an attitude? I like to connect joy and service.

Every day we are serving each other. Within the family setup, we serve our spouse, parents, children, siblings, and other relatives. Such service involves doing tasks on behalf of others and being there for each other.

Service does not end there. We go to our workplaces, and there we find others in need of our assistance. Our managers, colleagues, customers, business partners, suppliers all seem to need service. In our communities and our country, our services too are needed. Do we find joy in serving others? Or does serving others steal our joy?

I consider joy to be an attitude that should defy the circumstances that we find ourselves in. Joy seems to emanate from deep within us. The simple fact that we are alive and can read this should be a source of joy. I believe that joy should be a natural extension of everyday service. When we serve, we give our resources, knowledge, and skills.

When we serve, we are expected to do so with gladness. When we answer a business call, we are expected to be at the service of the caller. When our customers use our digital channels or visit us face-to-face, they expect us to be at their service. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes we feel drained by being at the service of others. We may run out of zeal or feel dissatisfied with ourselves and others.

An entire economy has been developed from the buying and selling of services. Customers exchange services for money. The price they pay is dependent on the nature and quality of the service received. Telecommunications companies for example charge for airtime and data.

These services are intangible and the process of serving such customers is not always easy to gauge. Customers who use services judge their quality based on various parameters. A main parameter in service delivery is people. I believe that people make all the difference in any organisation.

Empathy

 In service organisations, this is even more evident. How people deliver a service is a function of their attitude, knowledge, and skills. Of these three, I consider attitude to be supreme.

How do we view those we serve? Do we consider our role in serving them as important? Is empathy one of our values? Are we sensitive to the needs of others? Do we care?

As we get closer to the end of 2021, it is important to appreciate that there is joy in serving others. As we serve, the choice to find joy or feel sorrow is ours. We can choose joy because it is safer for our feelings, it is more peaceful, and it is more comforting. In a world where there have been many tough moments this year, let us choose joy.

Will you choose joy with me? Will you serve others from a place of abundance as opposed to a place of lack? If you are in business, will you go out of your way to spread joy to the customers that will be interacting with you this festive season? Joy is multiplied when we spread it to others. Let us choose to spread some joy this Christmas Season!

Dr Kiruthu is a management consultant and trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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