Most of us care about doing our jobs well, and about the relationships we have with clients and coworkers. But author Jon Gordon says your actions might be sending the opposite message. The good news is that the more you care (and show you do), the more you stand out in a world where many don’t. Caring is great for business. The even better news is that by making, say, one percent more effort and paying attention to the little things, you can transform your relationships and see your overall success skyrocket.

 

Here, Gordon spotlights something you unknowingly do that tell others, “I don’t care.”

 

You neglect to ask about things going on in their personal lives. Whether you’re interacting with a colleague or a client, you may think that keeping the conversation focused on business is a sign of professionalism. But actually, says Gordon, it can paint you as a rather callous individual—especially if the other person is going through a difficult time.

 

“Ask others what’s going on in their personal lives, and follow up,” recommends Gordon. “Express your sympathy when a client’s parent passes away, and your willingness to help when a colleague is dealing with a health crisis. It’s so easy to spend five minutes making these connections before getting down to business—and it means so much.”