From the various leadership positions I held in my 26-year Air Force career, one thing that consistently rang true was the more I genuinely cared about my people, the more commitment they seemed to show. I also have noticed that I’m more prone to do business with people who show genuine concern about what my needs are. The old saying people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care still holds true today… especially when talking about employees and customers. The real question is how do you truly show them you care?
From my experience, you cannot fake genuine caring—your employees and customers will see right through you. The real test will always be your actions. One tried & true way that I’ve seen that shows you care is by giving them your time and attention. Nothing seems to say “I genuinely care” more than giving your time and attention…especially in today’s super-busy-hectic world! When you take the time to talk (or listen) and put everything else on pause, you show just how much you care.
During my Air Force career, my wife was used to me sending a quick text saying “I’m gonna be late…duty calls!” She knew that when my people needed to talk to me about an issue, I was always available… I would give them my time and attention and listen attentively to their concerns, and then respond accordingly. Many times, they simply needed somebody to listen!
One of the many leadership positions I held in the Air Force, one was a First Sergeant. One of the responsibilities was to counsel (or console) people in very difficult times, such as when they received family emergency notices from the Red Cross. No matter what was on my schedule, I always took into consideration the individual I was counseling/consoling, by giving them my time and complete attention… no matter how long they needed.
Looking back at all the times I had to share bad news or console folks, I nearly shed as many tears as the people I was consoling. However, one thing that my people knew was that I genuinely cared about them… and that’s worth a few tears. I’m not saying you need to shed tears to show people/customers you care, but you do need to put yourself in their unique position, and give them your time and utmost attention. They need to know you care, and your actions and facial expressions must show it.
The bottom line is that commitment issues will continue to be a major challenge in many organizations with their people and customers. When people know how much you genuinely care about them, their level of commitment towards you and your organization will skyrocket. They will go the extra mile for you, and they will keep coming back. People want to work with and buy from people who know them and who are willing to give them the time they need—in other words, people who they know genuinely care about them! Give your best effort to show your people and customers how much you care, and take note of the impact it has.
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