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?


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