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What's Love Got To Do With It?

Trust

Honor

Respect

Love

Those four words are the cornerstone of any relationship.    It’s what we are all searching for as we seek partnership in our personal life. 

What if I said that’s also what we’re seeking in our relationship with our employer too?   I want you to think about the best job or best manager you ever had.   What made it so great?   I am sure that much of it was related to the work itself, perhaps it was something very noble or an effort you were passionate about.  Of course, of course.   However, I guarantee, if you think back to that great work experience, somewhere in there were Trust, Honor, Respect and Love.  

Trust.    We all intrinsically want to trust our employer to do right by us and we want to be trusted to do a good job.   I remember a conversation with a senior leader who was frustrated that employees were using internal messaging platform to complain about company policies.  This manager was lamenting the fact that a group of employees had created entire threads to complain about policy changes, new initiatives etc.    I explained simply that those individuals clearly didn’t have a lot of trust in their relationship with the organization.   If they trusted their manager, they wouldn’t take to a shared platform to complain, they would talk to their manager.   Maybe they do trust their manager but don’t trust that they have any power to change the situation, indicating lack of trust in the organization.   I encouraged this leader to look at the quality of the leadership of those individuals rather than blaming the participants.    Bottom line, no trust is no Bueno.     

Honor.  Wait a minute, we’re not joining the Marines here, we’re just going to work, what does honor have to do with it?    Honor has EVERYTHING to do with it.  Honor says, “I see you.”    Honor is about understanding who you are as a person and appreciating your contribution to the workplace.    In my practice, we do an exercise called “Gifts and Hooks” where we have participants discuss the gifts that they bring to their work and the hooks that keep them satisfied in the work environment.    This whole exercise speaks to Honor.  The act of understanding each team member’s unique gifts and the understanding of their intrinsic needs.    If you’ve never used honor in a sentence when talking about your work environment, maybe now is the time to give it some consideration. 

Respect.  Sure, this one seems like a no brainer but it’s where many of us struggle at work.  We think we are treating people with respect but, our actions say differently.   I remember a peer once telling me how much they respected my work on a project in the same sentence as they were telling me that they hadn’t completed the necessary inputs from their department.   I had a manager who once mentioned they respected their peer while subsequently throwing them under the proverbial bus.    Many of us see a lack of respect manifested in organizations that purport to promote a robust work life balance while promoting only those who can work significantly over 40 hours.    Respect, simply put, means understanding and supporting people where they are.  Respect is the ultimate act of unselfishness.   It’s showing your employees that it’s about them and their contribution to the company’s success.

Love.    This is where everyone gets squirrely.  Many would say, you can’t love people you work with, that’s unprofessional.    I call BS on that.   I can say with 100% authority that my best jobs, and best workplaces held a whole lot of love.    I tell my team I love them on the regular.   Not in a creepy way but in a true, honest, I love what you bring to the table and I can’t imagine doing this work without you sort of way.     Steve Jobs was quoted as saying, “the only way to do great work is to love the work that you do.”  I will go a step further and add “and to love the people you do that work with.”  Love is recognizing a job well done. Love is thanking someone for helping you out.  Love is telling someone who worked hard this week, to knock off early and go enjoy their evening.   Love is laughing over something silly in a meeting or making someone smile who is a little stressed.    When it comes to work, love is a big deal. I quote Hugh Grant as The Prime Minister when he said, “Love actually, is all you need.”   Well that and a killer business plan.

If you are an employer, manager, business owner or in a position of influence at work, I encourage you to think about these four key relationship tenets and assess whether your workplace is built on that foundation.  The bottom line, employees want to be Trusted, Respected, Honored and Loved by their employer.  In return they will do great work and stay with your organization and treat your customers with those same four things.  Seems like a great plan.    

So here’s this week’s addition to the inspireal playlist. Click the link on the main blog page to access our spotify playlist.

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Jill Parker