Compassion At Work and Lifeboats

 

Compassion and Love create lifeboats

Retain employees with Love and Lifeboats

 

Patty Carter appears again in our blog with another great story about an experience she had during her management years with an organization working with at-risk individuals.

Her story is a tale of two managerial candidates and how things ended up without the practice of Love in business; and explores what could have happened if Love had reigned. Patty’s story provides information, inspiration, and guidance to those of us who have discovered that the ‘practice of Love IS good business’ and are seeking to find our way forward on this pathway to Success.

Here is her story . . .

A few years ago, I was part of a panel that was interviewing for a middle management position. This was a particularly significant interview because the previous manager was blatantly abusive to staff and was not upholding the terms and conditions of the contract. This was a government contract that partnered with a State parole team that was being violated in many ways. The contract was in jeopardy and the organization’s reputation was being trashed. The situation had become emotionally charged and was in need of a strong leader with a firm hand but a gentle touch.

The office was a mess and staff had been traumatized to the point that the word “lawsuit” came up in nearly every conversation. Upper management was genuinely concerned and doing everything possible to resolve the situation – including having very open conversations with staff. Things were moving slowly because of the delicate nature of the situation – but final interviews had finally begun.

We were looking for someone that had good leadership skills, could think well outside of the box, was firm but able to bring about healing to staff, clients, peers, the parole team AND save the contract. Tall order and definitely not for wimps – or a tough manager that wanted to bully everything and everyone into shape.

We were down to two very strong candidates that could get the job done. One of the questions I asked was “What would you do with an employee that had become a problem or was not performing well?” The first candidate said, “Make sure they’re properly trained, talk to them and if that doesn’t work you go through HR to start the termination process”.

The second candidate said he would do everything he could to pull someone back into the lifeboat. I asked him to tell us a little more about what he meant. He elaborated by saying he felt it was important to know what was going on with an employee that had gone off the rails and detailed how he would handle the situation.

One answer embraced, the other one dismissed. One was focused on developing staff and one focused on getting an employee into line. I think both approaches can be used – but the dismissive approach needs a little tweaking.

My education, experience and training has taught me that people do what they do for a reason and it’s part of our job as managers to look into what is going on with an employee that is not performing as expected. I think you have to ask yourself some key questions before taking disciplinary action or contacting HR.

  • Has this person been fully trained?
  • Is this person clearly aware of expectations?
  • Are this person’s skills and strengths suited to the position?
  • Have there been recent changes in this person’s workload or job description that he or she may be struggling with?
  • Is there any indication that he or she may be facing personal challenges?

Once you’ve asked yourself those questions and been honest in your assessment, it’s time to talk to the employee. This should be a conversation not a berating session. State the facts, show concern and that you value him or her by asking questions. Then listen – not just with your head but with your heart as well. Head and heart are not mutually exclusive. One discerns, the other seeks to understand and heal. This is a powerful combination and from a business perspective, is a win-win for everyone.

Those who work for us are real people with real lives. Their work needs are not limited to training and a paycheck. They need to feel like a valued member of the team. Termination is not always the answer. While there are times when it may be necessary to terminate employment, it should not be the goal when dealing with struggling employees. When correction (or discipline) is necessary, use compassion and wisdom to pull the person back into the lifeboat. The employee will grow and learn and get better. And so will the rest of the team.

Interestingly enough, the candidate that focused on getting employees in line got the job and was eventually promoted again. However, he turned into a demanding, overbearing manager. It didn’t take long for that style to result in turnover and lower performance in his department . Had this manager taken a different approach or returned to a more caring and compassionate way of being, the entire region he managed would have gone in a different direction and been more successful.

The way we see and how we approach our employees (and everyone in our lives) will determine the success of our relationships. And when it comes to business, seeing employees through the eyes of kindness and compassion and approaching them from a place of love will determine an efficient and successful business.

 

Love matters, and it makes all the difference.

 

 

Author Patricia Carter has a passion for training and developing staff for excellent, positive outcomes and has been successful in creating an environment of learning and growth for the benefit of her teams and employers. She has nearly 10 years’ experience in management working with at-risk individuals.

Check out her previous post here: http://loveisgoodbusiness.org/2016/03/

And remember, together we can make a difference that matters.

 

 

Empathic Understanding

wearing someone else's shoes

Learning Who Our Employees Are through Empathic Understanding

 

Our philosophy behind the Art of Love is Good Business draws on several key ingredients. One of these is Empathic Understanding. The following is an excerpt from our upcoming book. In one chapter, we explore Empathic Understanding and its relevance to how we manage our employees. We hope you enjoy this short exploration. . .

An essential part of optimizing our effectiveness at achieving our management goals, is to manage our employee for who the employee is, not who we think the employee should be.

We all likely understand, at least to some degree, that we can’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to management. We need to manage employees as individuals​. This means working with each employee differently​ based on who they are as an individual person–someone with all the knowledge, skills, hopes, fears, weaknesses, and aspirations unique to them as an individual Human Being. This is critical information we need in order to be effective mangers.

Of course,  managing employees individually seems like a great idea. However, if you have tried to do this, you have likely found it very challenging, if not impossible, to do very well.

The key to doing this successfully​ is in discovering ​ who our employees truly are. As managers, we tend to see our employees only in terms of our expectations about the work they do and how they should do it.  This limited perspective of our employees obstructs our ability to manage them as individual people. It leaves us without vital details and nuances that give us a fuller context to the situation at hand, as well as a suitable awareness of their unique strengths and weaknesses as individuals. All of which is the kind of information we need to support them, as unique individuals, to be at the top of their game.

Context is everything. Without​ the right context, we don’t stand a chance of doing our best work as managers.

Context plays an essential role in optimizing the effectiveness of our management efforts in this area. The knowledge and insight we gain through Empathic Understanding brings context to the content of our interactions with our employees. Context gives us the back story to what the employee is doing and saying. We need the right context to know the full meaning and significance of employees’ actions, gestures, and words.

When we attempt to manage our employees without sufficient information and context, it leads to a lot of miscommunication, frustration, disappointment, and conflict with them. It usually causes a waste of energy and a loss of productivity in their work. This tension and stress can eventually lead to burn-out and disengagement for both them and us. This is also how we end up losing our passion and the vision of the difference we want to make for our organization and the people work with.

Empathic Understanding is a key part of the answer to how to manage our employees as individual Human Beings​. Empathic Understanding​ is how we can know our employees as individual people. It gives us access to the knowledge we need to manage our employees for who they are, not who we think they should be.

Looking beyond our expectations to see our employees as whole individuals doesn’t take anything away from the work we need them to do or the results we want them to deliver. It only changes​ how well informed we are about how to support and empower them. It provides us with the subtle details and context to know how to make the difference we want to make.

Love is Good Business by Patricia Carter

 

Dare to Care and Show You Care

Dare to Care and Show You Care – Love is Good Business

 

Love is Good Business?

I hear people saying, “You Can’t Be Serious!”

But I am serious. As a matter of fact, I’ve never really understood why this is such a difficult concept.

Let me tell you my story: As I moved up the proverbial ladder from worker bee to management I became very aware that relating to co-workers and my staff with a loving, caring heart wasn’t how things were done–especially in my line of work.

Since 2004 I’ve worked in treatment and supervision of the homeless and those involved in the criminal justice system.
It’s a tough job when you’re not wired to be the tough guy all the time. I seemed to be in a constant battle with bosses that believed being hard on clients and staff was the ticket to success.

But, listening closely in weekly conference calls when results were reported and issues discussed, I saw that my office and team did not have the same kind of issues. We had excellent results, one of the best in our state. And our office was bringing in new business. We had good relationships with county probation, law enforcement and other community partners. Our clients were doing good things and were involved in the community in positive ways. I had a great team who were focused on achieving great results.

Then, I went to my staff and clients and started asking questions. Interestingly enough, their answers were the same – they all said it makes a difference when someone cares what you think or how you feel. Staff said it made them want to learn and grow and do more. Clients said it helped keep them on the right path, especially when no one was looking. Maya Angelou said that people will forget what you say to them but they will never forget how you made them feel. This is so very true.

Caring or coming from a place of love doesn’t mean being a pushover. It means that you’re interested in the well-being of the people that work for you and the clients that use your products and services. It means saying “How are you?” and waiting for the answer, remembering a birthday or the fact that someone has a very sick family member at home. It also means that you clearly communicate your vision to your staff and make sure everyone understands what is expected of them. It means coaching, mentoring, disciplining and training people to move to the next level.

Great leaders (and bosses) care. They don’t assume, and they don’t allow ego to get in the way of developing staff and developing good relationships with those who do the work that produces results. You want great results and outcomes? Open that place in your heart that cares and see what happens. When you dare to care – people respond.

John Lennon was right – Love is all you need.

Author Patricia Carter has a passion for training and developing staff for excellent, positive outcomes and has been successful in creating an environment of learning and growth for the benefit of her teams and employers. She has over 10 years experience serving at risk individuals.

Love is Good Business for Every Business

Love is Good Business for Every Business

Love is Good Business is for Every Business in our World

Every business is about people relating to each other.

The Art of Love is Good Business is true for every business we work in, from the mega-corporation to the mom and pop corner store.

We were happy to see an article recently that shows that very point.

Here’s a quote from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

“We’re not in a coffee business serving people. We’re in a people business serving coffee.”

This simple twist on how we think about our businesses helps build the framework we use to relate with our customers, vendors, co-workers, and each other; and, is a big part of what we hope we are sharing here.

To see this coming from the CEO of a large corporation is encouraging.

Read the entire article here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/howard-schultz-giving-college-educations-his-employees-daniel-roth

Together we CAN make a difference that truly matters.

Working with Difficult People is Possible with Love

Love is key to working with difficult people

Difficult people can be the key to success.

 

When we find useful content, we like to pass it on to our readers.

This article The One Technique to Get What You Want From Difficult People by Kate Matsudaira is worth sharing.

Kate encourages us to see what’s really behind difficult people and their behaviors by opening our perceptions to other possible motivations. Difficult people really are trying to help even when they contradict or disagree with us.

Her technique changes challenging meetings into collaborative and creative conversations. By bringing our Love to these conversations, we encourage “difficult people” to do the same.

Check out the article: The One Technique to Get What You Want From Difficult People
[Read more...]

Guide Passion with Love and Wisdom

Guiding Passion to Success
Guiding Passion to Success with Love and Wisdom

It seems to me that while having a passion is essential to business success, not all passions are created equal. Some are more wholesome than others. Passion without Love and Wisdom is like a locomotive without a track to guide it. Love guides our passion and creativity to what is profitable for both the organization and its people.         Arlen Pauler

What challenges and successes have you faced in using Love to guide Passion in the workplace?

Now it’s your turn. . .

Share your comments and stories about how Love creates a better way to do business.

Together we can make a difference that truly matters.

Dare to Care

“Caring can be learned by all human beings, can be worked into the design of every life, meeting an individual need as well as a pervasive need in society.”
Mary Catherine Bateson
In our busy work days it’s oftentimes easier to run away when a co-worker hints at a personal problem so we don’t have to deal with our own feelings when we hear what they have to say. But if we stop for a moment and show we care by giving our undivided attention, great things can happen:
The lead contract specialist sits at his desk, head in his hands. He is quietly weeping. In a courageous move, you pat his shoulder and sit down ready to listen to the problem. Once he has composed himself, he tells you his dog has died. It’s the dog in the picture on the credenza showing the contract specialist dressed in hunting garb, rifle angled in the crook of his arm, the dog sitting next to him grinning through the tangled feathers of a goose. You feel his pain because you care. And you listen to him recount the story of the picture. Maybe even tears spill from your eyes. In this moment both of you have established a deeper relationship—through the simple act of caring. The next time the two of you meet to discuss your disagreement over a procedure or goal, the link established earlier will form the basis of a respectful, open and productive  exchange.  
The fact is the line between personal life and work life continues to blur. As more people telecommute and work longer hours, spillover is bound to occur. As managers, we have to be aware that a depressed or angry attitude may be the result of something personal and not related to the workplace at all. This is where caring can have a great impact.
One of the reasons we are hesitant to show caring is our own fear; fear of embarrassing ourselves or others, fear of being misunderstood. This fear is the biggest factor to overcome if we are to really live a life where Love is Good Business. Taking that first step, as in the scenario above, leads to the compassion that creates openness and acceptance for all.
Will you share some of your actions that expressed caring and the results?


What we are about. . .


The practice of Love in business is good business. This is an idea that is no longer in debate. When we make the practice of Love a natural part of the way we do business, customers want to come back, employees are wholehearted in their performance, vendors are eager to serve and business leadership takes on a whole new meaning and significance.

 

However, the idea of using Love in business isn’t easy to put into action. Where this idea and the reality of Humanity intersect, opportunities clash with difficulties. But it is at this very intersection that sustainable business success can become reality.

 

That’s the reason we’ve developed this blog–to support people working at the intersection of the practice of Love and the Reality of Humanity. Our upcoming posts and articles, based on real situations, will explore the many clashes happening in today’s business world. Our explorations will offer the information, inspiration, and guidance that will advocate and support the practice of Love in business.

 

We sincerely hope that you will join us in this journey to bring the practice of Love in business from idea to reality.

 

So we ask you:

 

What challenges and victories are you facing right now in your Life at Work as you practice Love in Business?

 

Arlin K. Pauler

and

Michelle R. DeLaBarre