“Nobody will ever love you quite the way you want them to. You just have to let them do their best.”
I saw this quote on Reddit the other day and it really hit me hard. We really are selfish in everything- even in the way we are loved by others!
Why would I expect someone to love me just the way I want to be loved?
Let’s face it- we are not mind readers and we are all wildly different. And this does not even address the gender and role differences! Yet through all of this, I can get to a place of feeling completely misunderstood. I can sink into this feeling that folks just don’t really care about my desires, my feelings, my happiness. I’m sure that I’m not alone.
Yet- How could they know?
I believe you can and should know how someone wants to be loved. The problem is that we tend to default to loving others the way we want to be loved. If you like words of affirmation, then you assume that everyone else values this action in the same way you do. If its gifts or money, you are convinced that all you need to do is buy something for them.
I believe this is also true for managing people. You can’t expect that a “one size fits all” view of wants and needs is realistic. I struggle with managers who are one dimensional in their approach to managing and motivating others. So what do you do as leaders to love better? How can you make your team feel truly loved and appreciated? Here are a few hints!
Go Deeper: If you are seeking to build strength in your team you must work to build a stronger relationship. This takes risk. You have to be willing to get past the surface and go deeper. Lower your guard. Find out what they are struggling with. Find out what brings them joy. By building your relationship, you will strengthen trust and understanding. You will be able to tap into what truly motivates them.
Be a Noticer: Watch for hints and feedback that give you a window into the person’s values and priorities. I am always amazed how some folks can spend a large portion of their lives with someone and still not really understand them. Be observant and get your mind off of yourself, the money, the day to day junk, the crisis of the day…and truly look at others on your team. Simply watching and listening can provide you with a huge amount of information about others and allow you to connect with the things that are important to them. The things that give them self worth and value.
Ask Questions: Instead of barking out the orders and moving on, ask questions. Engage your team members in meaningful dialogue. Ask them for their opinion. Make them part of the bigger story that you are trying to tell your customers and clients. When you get your team involved, you are placing value on their opinions and their worth to you and the company. You are acknowledging their expertise. Ask them what they want, what they desire, where they see their role.
Gosh- such simple stuff but really powerful! If you treat your team as if you don’t really care for them- how do you expect them to care for you and your companies goals? Should you love your employees? Yes- absolutely. Should you try to give them what they want? Yes- absolutely. Should you make them feel part of the bigger picture? Yes- absolutely.
If you give marginally to your team you will get marginal results back. Is that what you want? Not me. Life is too short for a mere passing grade. Get to really know your people and give them what they need. Need a new jolt of power in your business? The power is in loving well!