It is estimated that over 190 million people in the United States will take time to give their Valentine flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or cards this Sunday. Several countries around the world celebrate this Hallmark Holiday as a time primarily devoted to honoring romantic love, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this designated day for celebrating the love of your life.
I also hope you consider applying a different kind of love the rest of the year…a love that has nothing to do with romance. I’m talking about the love that is created when a leader chooses to serve someone by taking the time to simply make a positive connection.
According to the new science of positive psychology, your co-workers, clients, family members, and friends will feel love every time you stop what you are doing, give them your undivided attention, ask them some positive questions, and really listen to their answers. It’s not the kind of love we reserve for spouses, children, parents, or significant others…but it is love…something people of all ages need on a regular basis.
As I mentioned in the first Blog of this series, the purpose of serving with confidence and love is to help the people in your world excel. In my opinion, there is no way you can accomplish that objective if you are not consistently making positive, loving connections with the most important people in your life. Investing the time to learn how you can help someone Win The Day or simply to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done is essential to your success as a leader.
Unfortunately, leaders have been spending way too much time trying to connect with others on the phone and using electronic communications, and not enough time really connecting face-to-face. No matter how many benefits you can cite about the advantages of technology, and I agree that there are many, there is nothing more important in a leader’s life than building and maintaining positive face-to-face relationships.
Racing through your day trying to complete all the tasks on your never-ending ‘to do’ list, putting pressure on yourself to accomplish more in less time, and putting out fires on a regular basis doesn’t leave much time for serving individuals with confidence and love. Fortunately, making positive connections can happen quickly.
If you want to add more love to your leadership, incorporate these two simple steps into your daily routine. Please don’t devalue the ideas I’m about to share because of their simplicity. There is much more that can and should be done; but for now, just keep doing these two things until they become a habit.
First, slow down. Put your cell phone on mute, turn away from your computer, clear your mind, and give at least one person your undivided attention in the morning, afternoon and evening. Ask a positive question and then really listen to them. This simple activity is one of the greatest and most generous acts of service you can give someone at work or home. Remember, to the people you’re leading, Love is spelled TIME.
Second, make sure you maintain eye contact. Most people speak at around 100 words a minute, but your mind can operate at 500 to 1,000 words a minute. If you lose eye contact, your mind will start wandering and you’ll stop listening. What’s worse, the person you wanted to build up will feel let down because you lost the connection. Eye contact also activates your intuition. By looking into someone’s eyes, you start making wiser choices regarding what you can say and do to serve them.
Serving with confidence and love is a choice you have to make several times a day. In fact, the next person you meet may be dealing with some issue at work or home you know nothing about, and that individual could use a positive influence in their life. Be generous. Take the time to connect and try to figure out how you can help that person in some way. You will both benefit from the experience.
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin