What is it like to mentor almost 800 people? Claude Silver is the Chief Heart Officer at VaynerMedia, a global digital advertising agency. She was previously the company’s Senior Vice President, and was handpicked for the role three years ago by the CEO himself, Gary Vaynerchuk. Today on the show she’s talking about the immense ability we have to touch people’s lives, even in the smallest of ways.
Our power as human beings
The way we see a person is how we treat that person. And how we treat that person is what they will become. We have so much power as human beings to change lives, whether that’s helping someone get out of the gutter or, on the flip side, do harm.
Self-awareness is important. The more you’re aware of yourself, what you’ve gone through in life and what holds you back, the more you are able to see that in another human being — whether that’s the customer at Starbucks or the CEO. That’s empathy. And when we empathize, we can choose to relate to someone with softness and tenderness, telling them to come closer instead of pushing them away.
A day in the life of…
Claude is always on the offense: her job is to spot where there might be a fire and extinguish it before it gets out of hand. In her line of work, that means people problems like a lack of communication or team members feeling inadequate. Every day is different because she deals with humans — and humans have different issues. From time to time, she’s able to FaceTime with Gary V, which is fuel for her to give more of herself.
The magic of intentional micro-interactions
Looking someone in the eye is intentional. Giving someone a high five is intentional. At work for Claude, these micro-interactions might look like saying hi in the bathroom as they’re washing hands, or in her 15-minute sessions that she holds with people.
Small moments like these light people up. Bringing the magic into the mundane starts by giving someone attention: when you’re able to make them feel like they’re the only person in the room and that is the only conversation you want to be having.
We all want to be seen. Because of that, seeing people is powerful. This is a revolution of tenderness and of bringing humanity back into this life.
A message for you right now
I hear you. I hear that you have these beliefs that you are less than, that you don’t belong, that you aren’t connected to this world and that no one will understand you. But I want you to know something. You’re not alone. I got you. Kevin’s got you.
Do something right now for me: I want you to think of three things that you’re grateful for. Just three things. It could be the blue sky, or the song you heard on the radio, or the high five someone gave you on the basketball court. It doesn’t matter.
Get yourself to a place where you can think outside of yourself for a second. Think of something that makes you happy, that inspires you. Go to that place just for that moment, and remember how you feel in those moments.
That’s magic. You DO belong to this planet because you had that experience. Because you’re able to have gratitude for that person in your life or the person who gave you a high five, that means you belong. You’re connected to that person.
You’re not alone, my friends.
The beginnings of the HumansFirst Club
It began in her office when Mike Vacanti came in and they decided they wanted to work together. Mark LeBusque was someone she found on LinkedIn, and it was like finding a brother across the world. She connected the two, and eventually connected with Jill Katz, and they all began jamming.
The first HumansFirst Club session was in New York, and it was an exciting moment because nothing was planned. It was just: “What can I say and share about myself to encourage people to take a bigger step in their life?”
Ditching the deck
Some people prepare what they’re going to say, and fail to prepare to show up. She shares the story of Dubai — where, ready to give a talk to a room of 60 to 65 people, she made a split-second decision to ditch her deck, have everyone sit on the floor, and jam together. It’s about asking: “What’s going to be best for this group of people? What’s going to bring them together?”
Go and call or text someone who isn’t expecting a call or text from you. Let them know that they’re loved and appreciated and that you’re thinking of them.