Updated: Sep 19, 2019
Leaders know how to show love. Do you?
Shakespeare wrote, “Love is like a child, That longs for everything it can come by” (Two Gentlemen of Verona, III.i).
People want to feel loved. In 2010, the Fetzer Institute conducted an in-depth study on love. Their findings included:
Nearly 94% of Americans said that more meaningful love is needed here in America
89% of Americans said that their local community needed more love
77% of Americans said that their specific industry or company needed more love
Again, if you aren’t paying attention, people want to feel loved.
Here are three simple ways a leader can show love starting today:
Say “I appreciate you.”
Lolly Daskal, President, and CEO of Lead From Within discussed how important and simple saying “I appreciate you” can be. Isn’t that a feeling we all long for? To be appreciated? I consider my own career and I recognize some of my favorite moments were when a leader, peer, or even employee said they appreciated me.
Find times to send a personal “I appreciate what you’ve done” messages. For example:
• Send a personal email to an employee who put in extra work on an assignment and let them know you noticed the project had their style on it
• Send a personal note or text to someone when they couldn’t make a meeting letting them know their involvement was missed because they really contribute to the energy of the team
• Send someone a note while they are on vacation letting them know their contributions are missed while they are out
These little details make a huge difference in helping people feeling like they are appreciated every single day.
Write down and share your feelings
Megan McDonough, CEO of Wholebeing Institute, discussed how important the written word was and how impactful it can be to have a leader share with them their feelings of thankfulness and gratitude. She said, “A simple way to build a nourishing environment is to say thank you in writing, acknowledging that a person’s effort has made headway towards a goal. When we highlight progress by taking the time to write it down, the recipient knows they matter.”
As you close out this year, in addition to the simple candy or gift you give out to.
Why not say thank you with a personal note?
employees, why not write personal “Thank you” notes to every member of your team? Don’t have them typed up by an assistant that you simply sign. Prioritize your time and handwrite every single one. If you don’t know every employee, learn about them and do it yourself. Experience the power of personal appreciation. I’ve done this myself and it is absolutely magical.
Create moments of magic and memory
Richard Summerfield, author of Loving Leadership, stressed the importance of creating magical moments. He emphasizes the importance of making people feel special and how impactful that can be. As leaders, we need to customize and personalize every moment we can. Don’t hesitate to personalize the recognition. For example, when recognizing someone, if you know they are passionate about something, include it when giving them praise. Make it personal.
“All you need is love.” – John Lennon
Don’t just tell them they mean something to you and the organization, show them! Oh, and remember the little details matter.
I once was asked to recognize a key member of my team. As part of that effort, I reached out to all of his clients, both current and former, and asked them to write him a personal note of appreciation. Next, I compiled those acknowledgments and put them into a nice binder. As I presented this to him I said, “Now you’ll always know the difference you’ve made in peoples’ lives.”
I’ll never forget the look on his face. I could see he felt loved for his decades of hard work.
Remember, love is the one rare magical gift that we receive more of only as we give it away. So as we close out this year, you are given this unique opportunity to give love in abundance. I encourage all of us to give, give, give love away as the leaders we can all be.