From “The Energy Bus”
by Jon Gordon
comes Five Ways to Love Your Passengers (or your team, or your family, or your staff, or your community, or you…….):
1. Make Time for Them—When you love someone or something, you spend time with them. You nurture your relationship with them. You can’t nurture business relationships sitting at your desk, just as you can’t spend quality time with your spouse if you are watching television. So the key is to come out of your office and get to know your team. Spend time with them. Meet with them individually. Get to know them as people, not numbers. Just as you would tend to a garden, you need to cultivate your team with love. And while you are with them it is important to be present with them. Be engaged in the present moment. Don’t be thinking about 10 things you have to do that day or the 10 other people you need to meet with. Really be with that person and focus your energy on them. They will feel the difference.
2. Listen to Them—One of the most important factors that determines a high management approval rating is whether the manager listens to the employee. Does the manager hear what the employee has to say? Does the manager listen to the ideas and needs of the employee? Your employees and customers just want to be heard, so listen to them and hear them. We’re not talking about some active listening class technique, either. We’re talking about really sitting down and listening with your heart and caring about what they have today. Empathy is the key. When employees feel seen and heard, there is a moistening in the eyes. Yet researchers estimate that in more than 95 percent of daily interactions there is no moistening in the eyes, according to High Energy Living, by Robert K. Cooper (New American Library, 2002). For instance when you ask someone how they are doing, an easy way to show you are listening is to actually wait for the answer and make eye contact.
3. Recognize Them—We don’t mean trophies or some awards dinner. We want you to make it real personal. Honor them for who they are and what they do. Recognize them as a person as much as a business professional. One leader we know sends each employee a personal birthday card with a handwritten note, not some electronic fake signature but a real note. While it’s not possible to do this in every company, every manager can do this with their team. Another company allows employees to choose the UPC codes for their new products. Employees choose codes that feature their birth dates, anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, and so on. This makes it very personal. Another very powerful way to recognize them is to praise them when they are doing things right. The more you recognize them for doing things right the more they will do things right. Feed the positive dog inside them and watch it grow.
4. Serve Them
—A great leader once said, the higher you get in an organization the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you. The key is to serve their growth, their future, their career, and their spirits so they enjoy work, life, and being on your bus. The more you serve their growth the more they will help you grow.
5. Bring Out the Best in Them—We saves this one for last because it’s the most important. When you love someone you want the best for them. You want them to be successful and happy. You want to bring out the best in them. Thus the best way any leader can demonstrate their love for their team is to help each person discover their strengths and provide an opportunity for that person to utilize them. When you create a system that provides a way for your people to shine you not only bring out the best in them but in the rest of the team and company as well. If you really want to love your team, help them do what they do best. It’s that simple.