With Valentine's Day just behind us, it's time to revisit the idea that this special day is reserved for romantic relationships. Love is also important in businesses and the way they operate.
After all, what is love? In his classic book The Road Less Traveled, psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck argues how love is more than a feeling; we show our love by taking action. And business is all about taking action.
Among the actions that matter most are those that are about how you run the business and about how your business shows up and exists in the world. In other words, how you and the business live up to both personal and business values—every day.
I'm a big fan of the saying "L.O.V.E. = Living Our Values Everyday," which I discovered while looking for graphics for my social media content. But it's one thing to see it and it's another thing completely to act on it.
For example, one of your own values in running the business may be to show up fully. In living this value every day, a good reality check is to make a habit of scanning your body to see if your current dynamic is using only your mind. If so, you can bring this value to life by moving it to tap the wisdom of the body and invite the whole self in—mind, body, and spirit.
In terms of business values, a client was recently looking for a way to bring one of the values of her business to life. A value that's very important to her in her business is continuous learning. She needed a way to give this value more than lip service to her employees. But how could she make it a living value?
One simple way to check if your company values are being lived rather than just living on the plaque on the wall: When an employee makes a mistake, how does their supervisor respond?
One simple way to check if your company values are being lived rather than just living on the plaque on the wall: When an employee makes a mistake, how does their supervisor respond? A supervisor can choose to approach the employee and the situation in a way that either creates or goes against creating a learning environment. In other words, a supervisor chooses whether or not to live by this value of continuous learning with their actions.
The supervisor might choose to point out the error and give the employee a warning, with the intention of teaching the employee a lesson. However, this approach has to potential to shut down or alienate the employee. Instead, the supervisor might respond in a way that fosters a learning environment, which can be done in five easy steps:
1. Acknowledge the mistake with the employee with compassion.
2. Explain to the employee that you noticed that making this kind of error is unusual.
3. Ask the employee if everything is OK.
This is very important because especially in today's environment, many things are not OK. This helps to look for a root symptom. The mistake may be a symptom of the employee being over-worked and overwhelmed.
4. Be present and through the conversation, work to identify the problem.
5. Invite the employee to collaborate in solving the problem and offer support, all to create a deeper possibility of learning.
Ask the employee if everything is OK. This is very important because especially in today's environment, many things are not OK. This helps to look for a root symptom. The mistake may be a symptom of the employee being over-worked and overwhelmed.
These steps offer the supervisor a way to live the value of continuous learning through action and support, and to demonstrate that the company is living up to its cultural promises. This approach also creates a safe—and yes, a loving—environment where employees know that it's ok to be human.
It's possible to find behaviors that support all of your company's values. In this Valentine's Day month, take the challenge to identify these behaviors and put them into action.
It's possible to find behaviors that support all of your company's values.
If you are interested in exploring how to identify and implement these actions across your company and getting added support, consider grabbing a seat in my upcoming offering: Crunchy Conversations Round Table taking place every 1st & 3rd Friday's at noon pst from February 26-April 16. This is a safe place where you can share ideas and solutions with like-minded leaders and get more of my tools and guidance to help you and your business thrive.
As always, I’m here to support you in your leadership journey and to provide the guidance and wisdom I’ve learned along the way. Share this with a friend or colleague who needs to hear it and find me on social media for daily leadership nuggets!
And I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day!
In Service To Your Greatness,
Aubrey Armes, PHR