Creating a caring culture — one that values and respects everyone — is not just a good thing, it’s a great thing!
- Valuing others makes every person and every leader a better human being.
- Being a great leader and being a good person are intimately and closely tied together.
- Showing, and clearly demonstrating that your staff is valued pays enormous dividends in loyalty and increased productivity.
How do you create a caring culture? Here’s our take:
- Identify and use a set of “value strategies” that demonstrate that you really care about people. The more of these strategies you use, the more valued your staff will feel, and the more likely they will go the extra mile for you and/or your business.
- Use these with the intent of becoming a better human being and more effective leader and use both qualities to create a better, more productive workplace.
- Lastly, make using them a habit — not a once in a while activity.
Here are our top value strategies — the ones you can use to create a truly caring culture!
Value strategies . . .
Actively focus on what others are saying — about work or personal issues — twice as frequently as you do now. Make who you are speaking with the focus of your attention not your phone, the wall, or your next meeting.
Look at people when they interact with you. Call them by their name — pronounced correctly — and speak as if what you’re discussing matters — really matters!
Stop rushing around like a crazy person including constantly checking your technology — unless you work for Google or Facebook or a company that makes money encouraging more time online. But, we have a theory — even in these technology companies: When it comes to showing people they are valued, people still want personal time, attention, and interest. Have a strong feeling Sheryl Sandburg (COO at Facebook) looks folks in the eye.
- Be Humble
Stop believing you are uniquely special and gifted. Everyone is special and gifted — each in their own way. Instead, stay modest and humble. This is an immensely underrated style in business. If you know any humble executives, chances are you love them. Be one!
- Be Accountable
Share responsibility but know you are totally accountable and take good and bad results with equal grace.
- Appreciate Others
Say thank you often and without fail. Of course people should do their job — but that’s irrelevant to the larger point here. People want to be “seen” and “recognized”. Don’t go overboard. A quick “Hey Sam, thanks for moving this forward” will do wonders! And never fail to do something because you cannot think of an eloquent thing to say or do — this may be another instance where less is better!
- Take Responsibility
Never blame others for what you should have known even if you didn’t know it.
- Show Respect
Respect the feelings, needs, sensitivities and differences of others. Just because “you don’t get it” doesn’t mean you should ever stop trying to “get” where others are coming from. Just making the effort shows you care. Or, as the late great Dr.Stephen Covey says: Seek first to understand rather than be understood. St. Francis of Assisi said something along the same lines.
Really care and don’t be a jerk! Sounds funny doesn’t it? But remember the classic Harvard Business School article on what kinds of people other people want to work with. They would rather work with a less sharp but easy to work with person than a smart person who is a jerk.