Grow the Person to Improve the Performance
I love my job.
There are a lot of reasons why I love it; it is challenging every day, people trust me with their success and future, seeing people grow is very rewarding, it doesn’t feel like work, I get to set my own schedule and calendar and it pays well. My wish is that many of you feel the same way about what your employment situation. No one deserves to trudge off to somewhere to do something they dread or can’t be passionate about day after day. That’s what makes work feel too much like work in my mind.
I had a call today with client that reinforced what makes me love my job. I shared a conversation with a client that had recently gone through the passing of a parent, and we talked about her struggles in dealing with that and how hard it was to stay focused on her work despite her sadness. Those conversations aren’t always “fun” to go through, particularly in a work setting. But this conversation turned into a discussion about what matters most in developing the trusting relationships we should all be creating with our customers and co-workers.
This client told me about her issues getting moving again after her parent’s death, and how her boss called her and challenged her to re-engage and get back to work. Her boss did a masterful job of dealing with the PERSON that was struggling and not focusing on the PERFORMANCE that was lacking. My client shared that her boss asked permission to push her forward, but also gave her a chance to say she wasn’t ready, and the pain was still too deep. The boss’ genuine concern for her was evident in his conversation, and she told me it meant so much to hear the care and compassion in his voice. She knew he cared about her, not her as a sales producer. It made all the difference in the world as she committed to putting in a few hours each day to work her way back to consistent engagement, and since that call she has seen great success with more on the way.
I asked her if she understood the magic of her boss’ touch and awareness of her circumstances. It took her a minute, but once she started to articulate the words that meant the most to her the clarity of the process was very apparent. We talked on about how the investment in the person that he had made in her over the last year gave him a solid, personal relationship with her that allowed him to ask for more on the performance side. His investment had paid off for them both. By nurturing the person, the performer was more than willing to accept the challenge of not letting grief stop her completely.
In the end the message was clear; your efforts to grow your relationships must be directed through the person and not by demanding more of the performer. If you take that to heart in your life your family will be healthier, your business will be more successful, and your customers and clients will want to have deeper and more profitable relationships with you. And that is why I love my job.