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Journal of ASPR - Spring 2013 - “Nice Bike!” Making meaningful connections
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“Nice Bike!” Making meaningful connections

By Mark Scharenbroich, author and speaker

Mark ScharenbroichMark Scharenbroich will be a keynote speaker at the ASPR 2013 Annual Conference in Tucson in August. Scharenbroich is an award-winning author of the book, Nice Bike – Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life. He is in demand as a keynote speaker and is an Emmy award winner. He has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. Watch a clip of Mark’s presentation at Plan to attend his one-of-a-kind presentation at the annual conference and see how he lends his “Nice Bike” concept to the profession of physician recruitment!

Quite by accident, I stumbled upon a celebration for the Harley-Davidson company’s 100th year anniversary in Milwaukee, WI. I had flown from my home in Minneapolis to Milwaukee for a speaking engagement. I rented a beige-colored Ford Taurus and began my drive. Suddenly, I was surrounded by thousands of black leather, bandana wearing, hard-core Harley riders. They had traveled across the world to celebrate 100 years of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

I’ve never been on a Harley, dreamed of owning one, or thought of myself as a “Harley-kind-of-a-guy,” but that day I wanted a Harley. I wanted to be a part of the Harley gathering, part of the “Harley tribe.”

As I watched and listened to the interactions between bikers, two words kept surfacing that seemed to create a great connection. A stranger would walk by a rider, glance at their Harley, and simply say, “Nice Bike.” It really hit me that, once our basic needs are met, we all have two core needs:

  1. We need to belong — to a family, a ­community, a great company, a united team. We all need to feel connected.
  2. We all need to hear, “Nice Bike,” which translates to, “I see you, I hear you, and I appreciate you. This world, this organization, or this community is a better place because you’re in it. You belong.”

“Nice Bike.” It was the gold star on your paper in elementary school. It was being invited to sit at a lunch table in middle school. It was the high school teacher remembering your name on the second day of classes. Now, it’s the smile from a stranger during your travels. It’s a manager taking the time to let you know how much you mean to an organization.

Nice Bike is supported by three powerful steps:

  1. Acknowledgement — “Nice Bike” is letting people know that who they are and what they do matters.
  2. Honor — “Nice Bike” is honoring other people and knowing what’s important — not to ourselves — but to them. It’s serving others with a sense of passion.
  3. Connect — “Nice Bike” is making a ­connection. It’s creating a bond — large or small — that makes a difference in the life of someone else.

Here is a perfect example of “Nice Bike” in the workplace. Awhile back, I was speaking at a meeting for a large national organization, where my presentation closed out a three-day meeting of 200 key leaders and managers. After my presentation, the company president came back to the podium to close out the event and thank the members of the planning team that had worked so hard to put the meeting together.

Normally, company presidents ask the planning team to stand up as their names scroll by on a screen while the audience applauds for eight to ten seconds. This company’s president, however, went beyond the norm and gave each person his or her own “Nice Bike.” She asked the 12 team members to stand up and said, “Now, most of us know these people’s faces, and many know their names. Let’s take a moment not only to say thank you, but I want to tell you something more about each of these talented people..”

This president went on to share something about each person’s life. She talked about their hobbies, their families, and their service to the community — something unique about each and every person. Her comments were specific, personal and interesting.

Why does this company president have such a dedicated team? Because she acknowledges, honors, and connects with each and every team member.

Find out more about your team — know what they value and “Nice Bike” them. It builds a better team and makes for a more meaningful ride through life.

Journal of ASPR - Spring 2013

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