I heart you.
Those are words that I’ve uttered hundreds, if not thousands of times in my life. Why is this interesting, you may be thinking?
Because I’ve said those words at work.
I’ve cried with my peeps when they’ve lost their babies. I’ve celebrated more weddings of my peeps than I can count. I’ve held hands through divorces. I’ve cheered people on as they have taken the next big job. I’ve pushed people out of the nest. I’ve caught them when they didn’t fly.
And I’ve done it all with a ton of love.
We’re at the end of our year of #NailtheCXbasics, and it strikes me that love is one of the most basic things of all.
Now, before you go all old school “HR violation!!!!” on me, let me tell you a couple of stories …
The picture at the top of this blog? It’s a picture a colleague sent me this year (2019). Lovely, right? So sweet. And then I remembered when I wrote those words on the top of his notepad. We were in the middle of a really, really tough project. We were in a meeting where we were getting beat up pretty badly by our COO. He was handling it really well. I leaned over and wrote that on the top of his notebook. It was the beginning of 2013. He’d held onto this little tiny scrap of paper for almost seven years. Seven years. He’d ripped it out and put it in a file of important things to keep.
I was lucky enough to see another colleague this fall. We haven’t worked together in almost a decade. I hadn’t seen him in five years. We sat down for dinner and a catch up and he told me that a pickle ornament that I had given him in 2008 was still hanging in his office. (I’ll tell you the story of the pickle ornaments sometime in 2020, promise.) And he told me that it was still hanging in his office because I’d believed in him. Because I’d cared about him. Because it was his reminder of not just how he was treated, but of how to lead.
I’ve always been a believer in: Live big. Love big. I’ve been sent this GIF more times than I can count:
I get it, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. But here’s what I’ll tell you: I’ve learned a lot over the years, living and loving big. And most of what I’ve learned has only furthered my belief that when you really, really value you team — and you tell them that regularly — the things you can accomplish together are simply amazing. Magical. Bigger than anyone could have ever expected.
You know that I believe that #EXdrivesCX and No Culture, No Customer. I’ve been writing and talking about this for a long, long time. It is 100 percent what we practice and teach here at Chief Customer.
You also know that I am a huge believer in #LeadwithHeart. Period.
And now it seems that the rest of the working world is finally catching up.
More and more studies have been done on the value of showing your employees some “love.”
Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global published a piece on the topic recently. And Harvard Business Review talked about the importance of love to employee engagement in the workplace as long ago as 2014.
From the Thrive piece:
“As researchers Sigal Barsade and Olivia A. O’Neill writing in the Harvard Business Review noted, “the more love co-workers feel at work, the more engaged they are.” They make the distinction that we’re talking about “companionate love” here, which is rooted in compassion, not passion; it is much less intense than romantic love and is “based on warmth, affection, and connection.”
Compassionate love = Connection.
Connection. That word. We spend so much time with humans at work and I’ve found that so very rarely do we take the time to make a connection. Making a connection isn’t that hard — and it definitely doesn’t take an amazing amount of effort. Making a connection with a team member starts with learning their name, then something about them, and then actually remembering that thing and asking about it the next time you see them.
Making a connection is about finding that team member who is in the middle of the death march project and giving them a simple reminder that they are appreciated.
Connection drives #EX. #EX drives #CX.
So for 2020, we’ll be talking about love, and connection, and people. We’re going to share epic tales of transformation. We’ll share stories about what didn’t work. And we’ll give you the tools we’ve used for years to build connection, connectivity. And, frankly, how we’ve brought a little bit of light and love into the workplaces we’ve been so honored to be a part of — both as leaders and as guides.
Join us starting in January for a little bit of #LOVEandCX