Work’s Irresistible Ingredient: Part 4
In the previous three articles, I wrote about how love makes your job-and you as an employee-irresistible. In this article I’ll continue to explain the “P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E-S” acronym, which offers steps to infusing love into any job.
Don’t tell people what they want to hear. Tell them what they need to hear. Just make sure you tell them in a way that they will listen!
I recall being put off by a sales professional (with large incentives) in an electronics store until he confided in me that the DVD player I was about to purchase was inexpensive but laden with problems. He would have made a commission had I bought the unit, and yet he demonstrated his concern for me by sharing that insight instead. His interest in helping me make a good buying decision instantly changed my attitude about him.
Love is offering wise and insightful advice that is in the best interest of the receiver rather than the giver. When asked, it is easy to criticize or suggest the first thought that comes to mind, no matter its validity. A thoughtful input or response shows that we value the individual and care about his or her need.
Love is taking time to address another’s needs. In our lightning-fast world where the average attention span is less than two minutes, time is a valuable commodity and should be handled as such. By giving the gift of time to a coworker or customer, we show that we value them above all of the other things that cry out for our attention.
One of the most powerful love practices at work is the pause, making time to be fully present with another person. We ask each other “How are you doing?” all the time and never really mean it. How tragic!
Take the time.
Teacher Tom Lewis started The Fishing School decades ago in downtown Washington, D.C., hoping to give children from a disadvantaged background a chance to succeed as adults. Recently, the team from ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition stumbled across Tom’s school while working in the area. The camera showed shot after shot of bright-eyed children studying, working with their teachers, and playing in a broken-down building with heavy bars every window and door.
Interviewers asked the kids where they thought they might be if they didn’t have the Fishing School. “On the street… In jail with my brothers… Maybe dead like my dad.” Next, they asked what the kids wanted to be when they grew up. “Mr. Lewis said I can be a doctor someday if I study hard.” “I want to be a pilot.” “I’m gonna be the president!”
Best of all were the comments, “I want to be Mr. Lewis. I asked him to be my daddy because I never had one. I want to build my own school and teach kids just like he does.”
One of my favorite teachers from high school taught a subject for which I initially had little regard. However, it soon became clear that he was as interested in his students as he was his subject, and he taught it in such a way that they would truly benefit from his instruction.
Love is teaching someone else with gentleness, discernment, and selflessness. By offering up our experience and hard-won knowledge, we can help others to avoid mistakes that we have made, achieve results that we’ve been able to achieve, and improve beyond what we have been able to accomplish. The most effective teachers walk alongside their students as they learn, appreciating their accomplishments rather than emphasizing their shortcomings.
In the next 2 articles in the “Work’s Irresistible Ingredient” series, I’ll continue to delve into each component of the “P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E-S.” acronym and explain what the result of love for work is.