The Magic of Kindness 6 – Connecting

How do you apply kindness in business? 



In this final part of my introduction to The Magic of Kindness, I will focus on Connecting.

Magic Book

David Berglas is a living legend in the magic world. Some years ago he was on TV regularly and a household name.

I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting and talking to him at The Magic Circle headquarters in London. I also heard him lead a session on his favourite magic books. David said that his favourite magic book was not actually a magic book. It was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie (#ad).

I smiled when I heard that, I had read it a few years earlier.

Foundation Creation

Before I read Carnegie’s book, I felt awkward in social situations, didn’t know how to get conversations going. Carnegie taught me to smile and ask people about themselves.

People love talking about themselves. When you show interest in them, it says, “You are important to me.” It lifts their status.

Once you’ve asked a few questions, you can find a point of connection. Maybe somewhere you have lived, studied, holidayed; perhaps common interests or people you know in common.

Then you have a connection – something to build on.

I started trying this out in my close-up magic gigs. It made a huge difference: I could see precisely why David Berglas liked it.

The wartime proverb tells us, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”

Carnegie taught me how to get to know people. And then I practised it.

Know, Like and Trust

How does connecting apply in sales? In his book Endless Referrals (#ad), Bob Burg famously observed that people buy from people that they “Know, like and trust.”

You have to make a connection for this to happen.

People need to connect with you, and they need to connect with the idea that you’re selling. If they’re a Star Wars fan and the purchase you’re offering enables them to feel closer and more connected with Star Wars, then you’re onto a winner.

If you’re selling an idea, they need to feel connected with the idea.

I spend some of my time working for a charity, ZANE, that helps people in Zimbabwe. It is no surprise that most of our supporters have some sort of connection with Zimbabwe.

The Power Lead Connects

In terms of leadership, we naturally want to follow someone with whom we feel a connection.

We need to know, like and trust our leaders. As Michael Hyatt says, “Everyone is a volunteer. “ 

As leaders, you’re selling your vision and mission to those you lead.

Kind Connection 

How is connecting an act of kindness?

Well, to connect, we have to let part of ourselves become entwined with part of another person. And we have to accept part of them. This exchange creates a connection.

Just connect. Everything else flows from there.

The Magic of Kindness 5 – Inspiring

How do you apply kindness in business? 



This post examines Inspiring.

Add One More Ball

When you are teaching somebody to juggle for the first time, there is a wonderful point when you take them just past what they thought they could do. Suddenly they have achieved something new.

They get a certain look in their eyes.

Now they are inspired. You can then take them on, way beyond what they thought was previously possible.

Sideways Magic

When you are performing a magic trick, you sometimes see a similar look. A great thing about magic is that it encourages people to look sideways at life. It challenges assumptions; maybe there’s a different way to perceive things, a different way to do things?

Inspiration is a kind and powerful thing to give someone. It helps people to stretch themselves. It helps them to see possibilities. It helps them to be a bigger version of themselves.

Lightbulb Moment

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, famously said:

“Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

That may be true, but the inspiration has to come first, it is what motivates the perspiration.

Inspire Desire

In sales, inspiration will lead people to buy.

Give them some excitement about the possibilities you are offering, tell them about benefits they hadn’t thought of, paint a picture of what could be possible. 

Let inspiration do the rest.

Part of the Story

In leadership, you can enable people to glimpse possibilities and glimpse their potential. Help them to see a vision of the future, how they can be part of the story. Encourage them to join in.

Inspire them, and they will grow and flourish.

Who can you inspire today?

The Magic of Kindness 4 – Giving

How do you apply kindness in business? 



Let’s focus on Giving.

Please Give them a Round of Applause!

When I was a student I used to go down to London and sit in Covent Garden for hours, watching and learning from the jugglers, magicians and breakdancers.

Have you ever seen a street show? If so, you have probably noticed that the biggest round of applause always goes to the volunteer, brought out of the crowd to get involved with the routine. The entertainer has been generous, giving the helper the limelight.

The crowd love it, therefore they love the performer even more.

Less experienced acts might want the biggest round of applause for themselves, the more experienced know that the best show happens when someone else is given the glory.

Exceed to Succeed

I know from my magic business that, if I can give something to the client, everything runs more smoothly. 

If I can be helpful and friendly with the booking process; if I can give ample information so they can make a good decision; if I can help them to plan a better event than they had in their imagination. And then, when I get there, exceed expectations and over-deliver. 

The result? A very happy client who will recommend me again and again.

Emotional Bank Accounts

Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (#ad), introduces the concept of emotional bank accounts. Every time we meet someone we open an emotional bank account with them. Every time we do something good for them, we make a deposit. Every time we mess up, make a mistake, need forgiveness, then we make a withdrawal. 

Life runs smoothly if we can maintain healthy positive emotional bank balances. We do that by giving to people.

The whole premise of giving is that we don’t expect anything back, but the wonderful thing is, we will probably get something in return.

It may or may not be something tangible, but it will almost certainly lead to an enhanced relationship.

Service Mindset

How does this apply in sales and leadership?

In sales you can shift your motivation from “profit, profit, profit” to “service, service, service” – from making the most money for yourself to giving the best solution to the customer. If you put the extra effort in, with a genuine desire to help to solve their problem and get them a better solution, then you will become a better and more effective salesperson.

In leadership, you can give your time, your effort, your understanding. You can listen to people, understand them. You can stand by your team member when they are facing opposition. You can take risks in delegation: delegation is a  giving of control, an act of generosity so that someone else may grow. How can you best serve those you lead?

There’s Better Business if it’s like Show Business

You might be the headline act, but make your helper look fantastic. Let them have the most applause and the show will be better for everyone.

The Magic of Kindness 3 – Attuning

How do you apply kindness in business? 



Today I will look at attuning.

Last Christmas I Gave You My Art

Last Christmas, I had a gig at Arlingtons a wonderful venue in Ipswich run by the top chap that is Peter Gwizdala. It was a corporate party:  ten tables, I was going around doing close-up magic. I had already done some effects at the drinks beforehand down in the bar. 

I went to one table after the starter. I offered to show them something and they said, “No thanks, we’ve had enough magic fort his evening.”  When I was younger I would have tried to persuade them, but I have since learned that this is doesn’t work well. 

I moved on to another table where there was a couple of women having, shall we say, a fantastic time due to the quality of the refreshment. They loved the magic and provided very loud and enthusiastic reactions. The result was that they lifted the energy of the room. This impressed the client who had booked me. And it also improved the atmosphere for all the other guests, including the table that had refused the magic. 

It is important to listen, observe and then modify your behaviour accordingly. Because then you will get better results. This is the art of attunement.

Why is attuning at act of kindness? Because it is all about prioritising the needs of the other person.

Push it, Push it Real Good

Think about a swing in a playground.

If you push someone in time with the swing, they will swing higher.

If you push out of time, they will eventually stop.

Sale Away, Sale Away, Sale Away

How does attunement apply in sales? 

Daniel Pink talks about attunement in his book “To Sell is Human” (#ad). He points out that we have to ask diagnostic questions of those to whom we are selling. They will present with a certain need, they might think they know the solution. But the good salesperson will talk to them, and listen to them, and work out what their real problem is. 

It may be that the solution they think they want is not the best solution and you could provide something better. If you can attune yourself to their real need and provide them with a better solution then you will have a happy customer.

Leader of the Pack

In leadership, attunement can be dynamite.

Talk to those you lead. Phone them up, have a video call. When it is again possible, meet them face to face. 

Listen to them. That is the most important bit. Let them talk to you. And listen properly. 

Work out what will help them grow. One size doesn’t fit all. Work out what is the best way to communicate with them. What kind of language? What kind of style? What medium?

I heard a great talk last year from Michelle Mills Porter about the way she uses the DiSC method to assess people quickly, so that she can attune to them and work out the best communication style for that individual and situation. I thoroughly recommend her work and her insights.

If you push in time with a swing, they will swing high.

Be kind. Give them the magic they need, when they need it.