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21 Ways to Be an Agent of Hope

Do you know one of the most rewarding parts of public speaking? Getting to meet and interact with new people, as I did last week when I spoke at a company in Bakersfield. Our topic: "Making a Meaningful Difference at Work."

One of our themes was hope. Other words for hope: kindness and respect. In that spirit, here are 21 ways to bring more hope into the world—including and especially your world. What else would you add to this list?

  1. Smile.
  2. Make eye contact.
  3. Have a sincere handshake—neither dainty nor a death grip.
  4. Hold doors, including elevator doors.
  5. Speak the words that others long to hear: "Take your time," for example, or "Meeting adjourned." ;-)
  6. See the person in front of you as the most important person in the world.
  7. See every person you meet as having something valuable to teach you.
  8. Listen.
  9. Respect others' time, as well as your own.
  10. Pay meaningful compliments.
  11. When someone's telling a story, let them have the limelight.
  12. Be quick to praise and slow to criticize. Most of us are doing the best we can.
  13. Don't internalize other people's bad behavior. Address it if you have to, but let them own it.
  14. When someone you know is going through a tough time, just be there.
  15. Whenever necessary, offer a sincere apology. Your credibility will increase.
  16. Celebrate others' successes.
  17. When you find a meaningful book, article, quote, or song. share it. Shout-out to Rob from Bakersfield, who shared with me this this Merle Haggard gem.
  18. Let someone else cut it front of you on the freeway, in the grocery line, etc.
  19. Keep your sense of humor.
  20. Pick up the check.
  21. Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Last but not least, if I know you and I haven't heard from you in a while (or even if I don't know you), drop me a line to let me know how you're doing. I love hearing from you!

Agent of Hope Tip #7: See every person you meet as having something valuable to teach you.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at