I was out for a long walk over Christmas and called in to a pub a bit outside Sligo town for a well-earned drink on the way home.
It was a Monday afternoon, and the pub was remarkably busy.
I asked one local if trade was always this good – she said that since the publican built the wall in front of the carpark out the back it had done wonders for business. Now people could park their cars, have their few drinks and no-one driving by would know any better.
You see being able to figure out what is actually important to others is a valuable skill in any area of life. And sometimes you have to delve a little deeper to get to the bottom of it.
A publican may think that providing great service, a lively atmosphere and good music should guarantee him a regular supply of loyal customers. And he may be right.
But this particular publican looked a little deeper, and realised that on top of all the above features, for certain customers of this pub (and every pub!), others not knowing they are there is vital to them. The new wall tapped into this, and he is reaping the rewards.
So be it in a relationship with someone important to you, be it a musician thinking about her audience, or a businessman considering the needs of his clients, going below the surface to figure out what others really want or need can pay dividends. And not just in a financial sense.