This tiny little action is one of my oldest and most broadly used algorithms. And it’s not originally mine, although (as typical) I’ve adapted it since that faithful day we first met :o)
If memory serves me, the source is a book called “How to Talk to Anyone.” by Leil Lowndes. And in it, one of the “little tricks” was – never the naked hello.
The author explained that whenever you greet someone, it shouldn’t just be a bland soulless “Hello.” You should add on a caring remark or question. That way, you’re always seen as this attentive person.
Why it matters?
I’m paraphrasing grossly. And it’s not why the “trick” appealed to me, as I’m rubbish at small talk.
But, I saw the power and broad applicability of that approach to up the value of any interaction. Not just for the human you’re connecting to, but for your journey in life.
And all this, for such small effort investment!
So I started adapting it to:
Never the Naked “Thank You”
Every time you’re genuinely compelled to thank someone, you can’t just say “Thank You.” You have to tell them for what. The what should be anything that communicates the value that person created in your world.
Can you see how having to add a reason prompts you to:
- Assess if you’re genuine (or is it just a societally imprinted reflex)?
- What value/lesson you got out of the interaction?
- AND how can you make the person who delivered the value to you feel appreciated?
WHAM! All that insight from one tiny little action – Never the Naked Thank You.
Never the Naked Feedback
This means that I’ll not share feedback unless I can elaborate on why it matters to the person (in their context), and at least give them some idea of how it could be re-approached.
Again – this serves as fail-safe and easy to remember and implement tiny little action that ensures I don’t just criticize. Which is what uncontextualised empty feedback is, BTW.
Never the Naked Praise
Conversely – empty uncontextualised praise is effectively flattery. And although flattery AND criticism are both the easier versions of these last two uses, unfortunately, most people see right through them and generally don’t appreciate them much.
Praise given in the right (for the recipient) context, however, is a golden opportunity to gift that person respect and to feel genuine gratitude for what they’ve done.
Never the Naked Question
Pet peeve numero uno! People asking sloppy questions…
I know – go figure! You can call it question asking elitism (but only according to myself ;o)
But the point here is that by adding this tiny little action – you can markedly improve the quality of your questions. So you get better quality answers. AND the recipient of your questions feels like they’re talking to an intelligent and genuinely interested person :o)
Never the Naked Workout
…Uhhhh – I know! But it’s not about exercising in the nude. :o)
Same principle as before = if you’re going to put in the time and energy to workout, you must be fully engaged in it AT the time.
For me this means that I pay attention to my form. I pay attention to my heart rate recovery (especially when I’m doing interval training). And I pay attention to keep myself challenged enough to improve, but not so challenged that I break myself.
This engagement increases not only my gains from the workout but also my self-efficacy. It allows me to notice my improvements which keeps me motivated to exercise in the long term (so far 30+ years).
Never the Naked Experiment
And the final application of this golden TLA I would like to share with you is probably the one that will save you the most time, energy, money, frustration, going down the wrong path and all sorts of other existential energy leakages.
Of course, this is about experimenting with intention and awareness.
I will never experiment with something I can’t either learn from or that I can’t at least keep a part of the knowledge or activity for the long-term.
Never! It’s a waste of my energy and time, and seeing I have finite of both (we all do), I use this TLA to make sure I have my intentions screwed on properly.
Which leads me to – how do you run your Tiny Little Action experiments in your life? Do you?
If you haven’t yet tried one of the Tiny Inspirations I share with you on the blog, maybe this one fires you up? It’s loaded with so many bangs for a tiny investment.
Here’s how to use the Never the Naked TLA.
Your Call to Tiny Little Action
- Decide this is a “filter” you will run on any interaction that has value for you. You’ve seen where I use this TLA in my life: communications, workouts, work, family, self-care, learning.
- Think about the most important 2-3 places in life you could apply this algorithm to – fast and easy?
- Visualize how you would apply this TLA (using the TLA Method) to those contexts, so you know how it will play out – so that you’re prepared to give it all you can.
- Start using the TLA. Not on Monday. Not later… Start tomorrow. It should be easy if you apply the TLA Method, because the contexts alone should serve as triggers to at least recognize them as opportunities to use it. And note and enjoy the effect this TLA will have on the people you interact with.
And remember – things will happen slowly at first.
It’s like growing herbs from seedlings. You tuck them into the soil lightly. You water them daily gently, with attention and patience and understanding, that they need time and care and light and dark.
Until, one morning you go to say hello to the little chaps, and WHAT! they’re springing up their little green sprouts from the soil… and then after some more love, sun, and water – they grow big and wild and give you joy and nutrition.
Exactly like nurturing a tiny little habit :o)
Then when you try this TLA – come back here and share some of your discoveries. Summer and I are keen to encourage all of us to share our individual experiences because that’s how we get the best insights. So share generously below :o)
Right – I hope this fired you up. I’m off to bed (hopefully). It’s 5:30am here, and I’m going to attempt an extra hour of sleep for tonight, seeing it didn’t go so well in the first attempt (hence why I’m here sharing this with you ;o)
Until next time, my friend :o)