The Art of Love is Good Business can be The Best Medicine

 

Using the Art of Love is Good Business

Love Helps in the Art of Medicine

This is the winning entry from our recent contest. The Best Medicine by Megan Gregor is so good we just have to share it and the wonderful things illustrated here about the philosophy of The Art of Love is Good Business blog.

From our perspective, this story is about Love as a well-spring of resources for delivering customer service above and beyond in circumstances that seem insurmountable. The story shows how Love informs our intuition, excites our creativity, and gives us the courage to go beyond our barriers to find answers.

Insight, courage, and humility all play a role in how Megan’s actions were successful.

Enjoy. And we hope you find inspiration in Megan’s story.

The Best Medicine

By Megan Gregor

I’m old so my story is old. Back when I was twenty six, I got a job as an adherence specialist for people living with HIV and AIDS. I was fresh out of grad school. I had no experience. I barely understood the job title. I was lured by the idea that I could help people who were really in need.

My passion to help others is part of who I am. It’s how I was raised and how I want to live; it’s what I teach my kids, and how I want to be remembered. I took the job to help people in need…but the problem was that they did not want my help.

This had not occurred to me when I took the job but it made a lot of sense when I thought about it. As adherence specialist, I was to go to all the public clinics, look at the records of med pick-ups, and determine who was not on track taking their meds. I was supposed to identify, reach out to, and problem solve with those individuals. The key to HIV/AIDS drug therapy is adherence. If you skip doses the meds become less and less effective. And at that time, there were only so many options for meds. If you wore them all out, then you had no options for treatment.

I tried a lot of intervention styles to reach out to my clients. They were a tough bunch because they were the noncompliant. They missed meds, and often appointments. It was hard to get a working phone number and harder to meet up. Once I’d get someone on the line or in a meeting room, I tried to explain the importance of the meds. I tried to identify barriers to their picking up meds: transportation, privacy, time off from work, mental and physical health problems. The lists were long. Progress was slow and difficult. There was a lot of backsliding.

I knew they saw me as a young whippersnapper who had no clue what they were going through. I think some met with me out of pity and others were bored. It was hard to break through this perception because I believed it was mostly accurate.

Then I had a brainstorm. I was really worried about a client who had kids and was living in an abusive home situation. She had no job, money, or car. It seemed like some of those things needed to be helped before I could really expect her to pick up and religiously take her meds. She needed a safe place. Yet she would not listen to my suggestions. My brainstorm was when I realized who she would listen to.

She didn’t need me. She needed peers. While I had sincere love and compassion for her situation, and for all of my clients, I wasn’t able to connect meaningfully. Once I could admit that, I worked hard to get approval, funding, and cooperation for what they did need.

They needed each other. A safe place to complain about: side effects, jilted lovers, the counselors, the system, the cruelty of fate. They needed to hear each other out and then offer reality checks. Their reality. Not mine.

What I did was connect the dots. In their lives, where was the money? The drug companies had the money. I wrote a simple grant to the pharmaceutical company that made the most popular of the HIV/AIDs meds. It was in their best interest to have clients take their meds accurately, thereby showing the efficacy. With the funds, I lined up a meeting place, staff (to be in the background providing info and security), and incentives like the occasional raffle, or attendance prizes.

I won’t bore you with the stats, but just having a place to go and talk helped their adherence rates rise. The correlation was strong. The more meetings attended, the more accurate the med pick-ups were. Meds, a support system, education, and case management were important to helping these individuals improve their adherence. But it was the love and compassion of their peers that made the biggest difference in their overall health trajectory.

As I mentioned, I’m older now and I haven’t had a paying job in a while. But the lesson learned has stayed with me. Being heard and understood with love and compassion can sometimes be the best medicine.

The End

    Bravo, Megan!


    To further explore the philosophy that Love is the best medicine, we recommend this newsletter article from Unlimited Love called Love Heals http://unlimitedloveinstitute.org/newsletter/giving-tuesday-2016-2.html.

 

Remember, together we can all make a difference that truly matters.

 

 


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 Great Customer Service

Great Customer Service

Employees serve up Love is Good Business

 

Here’s an interesting statistic:

Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 people about poor experiences, according to an American Express survey in 2011.

So, we at ALGB want to buck the trend and tell you about a great customer service. Because this experience gives a real time example of what The Art of Love is Good Business looks like.

I wrote a letter to Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. This is part of it:

Hello, Mr. Schultz.

 I wanted to tell you about an excellent experience I had at Starbucks in Boulder City, Nevada on September 28th.

 Even though my previous experiences with Starbuck’s Coffee had been disappointing because I couldn’t seem to get the kind of coffee I wanted, I decided to brave the Starbuck’s system once again. Your actions as CEO were a big reason for me to try again—you really seem to care about improving the lives of everyone your company touches. If I had not been aware of this, I’m not sure I would have pursued the kind of conversation I had with the associate who greeted me that morning.

 I approached the counter and explained to your associate that I needed help with ordering a coffee because I didn’t understand Starbuck’s menu. So, I just described what I was looking for: a weak coffee that’s sweet and creamy, with a touch of chocolate. Could she help me?

 She paused and thought for a moment, then enlisted the aid of the associate who prepares the coffee (do you call them baristas?). Between the two of them they came up with a coffee that fulfilled my wishes. And the barista wrote it down for me so I could order it next time.

 Now that’s a great customer experience. . .

 If the associates had not cared about helping me have what I wanted, the experience would have been very different, and maybe, more typical of a lot of customer/business interactions. I am grateful that my interaction with Starbucks was a kind and compassionate one.

 I trust you won’t mind if we expand a little on my Starbuck’s experience in one of our future blog posts. It was certainly for me, an example of the role Love can play in business success.

 I applaud your leadership and the people of your company.

 Thank you!

 Michelle R. DeLaBarre, Editor

The Art of Love is Good Business Blog

So, what went on in this encounter?

As a customer, I was aware that CEO Howard Schultz wants his associates to care about the customer’s experience. It seemed to me that I would be safe expressing my need; that I wouldn’t be a “bother” to the Starbucks’ associates, so I was brave enough to go “off the script” of a typical coffee ordering process.

And, sure enough, the associates were very responsive. They took my needs into account, and, ultimately, adjusted their actions to make my experience very satisfying.

I believe they also had a good experience too because they were given the opportunity to help, and were able to successfully apply their knowledge to create a happy customer in a real time situation.

We all parted ways smiling!

What great customer experiences have you had where The Art of Love is Good Business was at play?

 

Share your story so together we can make a difference that matters.