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.

 

 

Do What Your Love Would Do

Do What Your Love Would Do

Let Love Show the Way in Business

DO WHAT YOUR LOVE WOULD DO

So, is that it? Just do what our Love would do, and we have a better way to work with people? Well, the short answer is:

Yes, it is that simple.

Doing what our Love would do is the key ingredient to the better WAY of working with people we have been talking about.

Bringing Love into the WAY we work with our employees is transformative. Love empowers, enables, inspires, enhances, and strengthens all our encounters.

Love empowers us as managers, to bring the best version of ourselves to each encounter with our employees. It is the essential key to having a better way of working with our employees; a way that empowers us and them to fulfill the vision we have of the difference we want to make for our organizations and our employees.

Love enables us to give our employees the kind of support and guidance they need to do their best work.

Love inspires us to bring the full measure of our discretionary effort to the execution of our responsibilities.

Love is an enhancer. It enhances our Human character, our capacity to be patient, kind, humble, positive, accepting, truthful, protective, trusting, hopeful, and perseverant. All of which make us a better manager; with a better way of working with our employees. It gives us the ability to look beyond our preset notions and biases about our employees, to know our employees for the measure of who they are as individual people, and what motivates and inspires them to bring the full measure of their discretionary effort to their work. Love enhances our ability to connect with our employees as fellow Human Beings, so they feel cared about and valued for who they are.

Love strengthens our courage to tackle the really challenging tasks; like difficult conversations that require compassion and empathy for better collaboration and reaching win-win solutions

Let’s dip into how Love does all of this, how using the power of Love enables, inspires, enhances, and courageously strengthens the way we interact with our employees.

First, when we look at the world through the eyes of Love, we see a very different Reality. We see a world with more opportunity and possibility. We see beyond our self-imposed limitations of our fear based model of reality. We see more holistically. Love changes our perspective and gives us a more complete picture of the situation at hand and the options we must work with. It gives us sensitivity to nuances and subtleties—critical information we don’t otherwise pick up on. This Information tells us what each of our employees need to be fully engaged and contributing at the top of their game.

Second, the phrase “Do What Your Love Would Do” has an attractive ring to it because it strikes a chord with our innate Wisdom. Our instinctive knowledge tells us doing what our Love would do is the best possible way to work with people. Even when we are not sure what our Love would do, following our best hunch of what we think it would do, is always the optimum way to interact with our employees. On average, we will always have the best possible outcome if we take our best shot at doing what we believe our Love would do. This is something our heart already knows, it longs for it. We are even neurologically hard wired for it. We can feel it in our bones.

Third, Love starts with an attitude not an emotion. Our attitude of care and concern is the source of the emotion of Love that we feel. We will be going into much more depth on Love as an attitude in the next section of the book.

Fourth, because Love is an attitude, it is an option. It is an attitude we choose to have or not have. While we can’t always see the option, Love is a choice we can make. It isn’t something that just happens without our participation.

Over the years we have observed, in ourselves and our clients, that when we choose an attitude of deep care and concern for the Well-Being of ourselves and others, Love becomes our ground of being, the place in our interior we operate from, and thus the foundation of our better way of working with people. Having our words and actions, even our thoughts and feelings, empowered and guided by Love is definitely a better Way of working with people, especially our employees.

So then, doing what our Love would do begins with being willing to care. To care about bringing the full measure of what we can contribute to the success of our department and support of the people we look to for that success. To care about the Well-Being of our employees as fellow Human beings and their success as members of the team we depend on for the success of our vision. Love is caring deeply about Well-Being. And the more we do what our Love would do, the more deeply we care about doing it.

This is an excerpt from our upcoming book. Hope you enjoyed it.

We hope this inspires you to make a difference that truly matters – by doing what your Love would do.

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: The Missing Piece in Management

 

Love: The Missing Piece in Management

The Missing Piece – Love

We recently ran across this interesting article in the Harvard Business Review on W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993), a business management icon from the latter part of the 20th century. The article, written by Joshua Macht, is The Management Thinker We Should Never Have Forgotten.

Macht wonders: Why do Deming’s ideas seem to be lost in time? Why didn’t they catch on to a greater extent?

Even though the underlying philosophy of Deming’s management method certainly resonates with our Human Centered way of doing business, we believe his ideas missed an important component. Love. Love, a deep and abiding Compassion for workers as Human Beings, is the missing piece we believe kept his method from being fully realized. Deming himself would likely agree with our premise about the importance of caring for the worker. But we think he didn’t put enough emphasis on it. So we thought we would do that here.

If we take Deming’s ideas and drop in the concept, Love Your People, the path to greater business success really lights up. It fits very well with the rest of his ideas. Dare we suggest adding it as the 15th point, to Deming’s ‘Fourteen Points of Management? (Click link: Deming’s Fourteen Points of Management.)

Not to put words in Deming’s mouth, but if the shoe fits. . .

Why do we suggest this? First, by using the power of Love in interactions, we make it safe, possible and worth it for our workers to bring the full measure of their discretionary effort to work with them, as well as their passion for work well done, commitment to the success of the organization, and greater collaboration with team mates in taking care of our customers’ needs. These are a vital part of the Human Assets Deming intended to harness and put to work.

And second, it just makes life at work a lot more fun. When we care about others and others care about us, it reduces stress, and makes work much more pleasant and rewarding. All of which optimizes productivity. And works to achieve what Deming’s method aimed at accomplishing. Of course, this names only a few of the benefits of incorporating Love into the frame work of Deming’s Management Method.

Check out the article. https://hbr.org/2016/06/the-management-thinker-we-should-never-have-forgotten.

When you finish reading Macht’s insightful article, remember to write a comment or share a short story about how Love, the missing piece, created a better way to do business.

Together we can make a difference that truly matters.

The Closing Date Approaches for our Essay Contest

 

Love: A Better Way to Work with People Essay Contest

Reminder for the Art of Love is Good Business Blog Essay Contest

LOVE: A Better Way to Work with People Essay Contest

Reminder: The closing date is Saturday July 30th, 2016 for our Essay Contest.

Remember that the submissions must be submitted as a Word document attachment to an email.

The response to our Essay Contest has been fantastic. Thank you to all of the writing websites and blogs who let people know about the contest.

We can’t wait to see what Saturday’s emails bring and we’re looking forward to reading all of your wonderful submissions.

Thank you to everyone who has already submitted!


Essay Contest

 

Love: A Better Way to Work with People Essay Contest

Announcing our Essay Contest

 

The Art of Love is Good Business Blog is running a writing contest

LOVE: A Better Way to Work with People Essay Contest

There are no fees of any kind to enter and win. We are looking for personal essays up to 750 words that share a true story about how Love and Compassion helped solve a work or business problem.

First Prize: $100

Second Prize $75

Third Prize $50

Deadline for submissions is July 30, 2016. Please check the rules at The Art of Love is Good Business.

Why do we call our Blog: The Art of Love is Good Business?

 

Art Makes Love in Business

There’s an Art to Love is Good Business

What’s Art got to do with Love in Business?

It’s really quite simple.

We discovered that bringing Love into the business arena calls for many of the key elements found in art: intuition, innovation, and adaptability. By using “Art” in our title, we encourage our readers to see the creativity needed in applying the idea of Love is Good Business. It’s about going beyond following a recipe to creating our own way to practice the use of Love in the workplace.

Getting to the point where we could appreciate that it’s the Art of Love is Good Business has developed over time. Four years ago we started our Blog with the title Love is Good Business and felt that was kind of risky. At that time, a search on the internet for “Love in Business” brought up only a few items before dissolving into something unrelated, and somewhat pornographic.

However, today, the idea that Love and Compassion leads to greater business success, isn’t strange or alien. Universities and Colleges have expanded their business degree programs to include compassion and Humanism. Books devoted to the subject crowd shelves. Articles on the internet are plentiful. People are really getting on the band wagon about the role that Love can play in business.

And we are very happy about this.

However, in all of this festive “get on board” energy there isn’t a lot out there about how to apply the idea; taking the idea from concept to application, and helping people use their Love every day, and in every situation.

We’re working at filling this gap by focusing on application. That’s why we seek out stories about how people have used Compassion in business settings to solve problems and meet challenges. And these stories aren’t just an exploration of how one person or team used Love and Compassion in business success. By sharing our stories, we can help each other see new and better ways to approach and solve our own challenges.

We believe that when we use Love in business effectively we unlock innovation, adaptation, and intuition in ways that echo the creative process of the Artist. We believe the stories shared here show how each writer brought their “Art”, their finesse and creativity to the use of Love in their workplace. This finesse and creativity are our writers’ artistic interpretation of what will work best in their environment and within their vision.

The Art of Love is Good Business is about the Universality of our individual ways of putting Love to work in our Workplaces, and about using the key elements found in art: innovation, adaptation, and intuition to do just that – harnessing the power of Love in the workplace.

Let’s harness that power together and make a difference that matters.


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.

 

 

Power Up Business with Love

Power Up Business with Love

Power Up!

 

 

At the heart of our ALGB message is:

 Love is a practical tool for living a more wholesome and effective Life at work.

There is energy in Love that powers an array of Human attributes: courage, insight, physical and mental stamina, and empathy, to name only a few. With Love we can do things we can’t otherwise do. And that makes Love a practical and useful thing; not just a whimsical over idealized notion about how we wish Life would be.

But, how do we bring Love into our world of business?

Choice. Attitude. Intention.

We choose to care about the well-being of ourselves and others, and even about the well-being of the places we work in, and the work we do.

Once we choose to care about well-being, an attitude of Love forms. Now we put the attitude into action and guide our actions with our intention for well-being.

We intend to support the well-being of ourselves and others, and everything in our businesses.

The steps flow, and suddenly it seems easier to see, feel, and use Courage, Insight, Stamina, and Empathy.

And these Human attributes bring great results into our workplaces.

A real-time story:

A manufacturer had a rule. Orders needed to be shipped within 10 days. But a lot of things got in the way of meeting that deadline. And as the deadline kept being missed, the increased anxiety and fear levels made all of the delays grow exponentially.

As the manager observed the fallout from the missed deadlines, he became more and more concerned about the well-being of his staff, customers, and the organization as a whole.

He chose to care. He brought a Loving attitude, and because he intended to improve the well-being of all, he had the Courage to ask: What is a more realistic shipment schedule?

And from that courageous and insightful question, they built a better shipping process.

The employees felt less stress and the customers were happy. Together they had powered up their business with Love. That’s a win-win in any playbook.

And illustrates our closing thought:

Together we can make a difference that matters.

 

 


Why We Blog at The Art of Love is Good Business

 

Together We Make A Difference

Together We Make A Difference

We thought it might be a good idea to remind everyone why we started The Art of Love is Good Business blog.

We started The Art of Love is Good Business blog to support people looking for a better way to do business; a way that brings more meaning and significance to their Life at work and greater success for their organizations.

At the very heart of our message is this:

Love is a practical tool for living a more wholesome and effective Life. There is energy in Love that gives us the oomph to be brave, resourceful, compassionate, creative, and most important, wise. And applying Love to the business world makes our planet a better place.

We hope that others will find our blog useful as they go about making a difference that matters in their businesses and, by extension, in their lives.