Thursday, August 20, 2009

Your Business May Need More L.O.V.E

Several years ago Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, said, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results.” He suggested managers could help employees feel good about themselves by catching them doing things right.

I’d like to suggest they can make employees feel even better (and produce much more) by helping them to feel loved. Here are four ways we can show people they are loved:

First, as managers we should Listen unconditionally. We need to clear our minds of any judgments or preconceived notions we may have about the person or their ideas. We need to hear them out fully before drawing conclusions or taking action. And, if we disagree, we should teach them instead of reprimand.

Second, we need to Overlook flaws and faults. We need to look for the good in people. Most people only see the exceptions, the discrepancies, the negatives. It is much more difficult to notice the every day or routine successes people experience. We take for granted their good performance and only point out the bad. We need to “catch people doing things right.”

Next we should Voice our approval regularly. People want to be acknowledged. They need recognition. They want to know they are valued and appreciated for what they do. No matter how long we’ve worked for a company or how old we become, we still covet the approval of our boss, our peers, our friends, and, yes, even our mothers. It motivates us and makes us feel good when we know our actions meet the approval of others.

Finally, we need to Extend ourselves by spending time and showing interest. There is no greater motivator of people, whether workers or our children, than to spend quality time with them.

The best management tool a manager can have is to get out among the workers. Go to where they are. Talk on their level. Show interest in what they are doing and how they do it. Find out what is important to them and take a genuine interest in it. Ask meaningful questions. Listen to the answers and respond appropriately. Focus on them. Don’t have somewhere else you need to go. Nothing you could do is more important than talking to your employees. Show them how much you really L.O.V.E. them.

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