Here’s some useful information for Valentine’s Day (and any day)!! These are gifts that will be truly treasured no matter who you call your Valentine.
Maybe you have a spouse or significant other. Maybe you have a business partner, employees, customers or strategic partners. Recognizing and addressing these issues can improve your customer loyalty, employee loyalty and things on the home front. Here’s a test to see if you can identify issues that come up in personal and business relationships. (clue: Read with emotion!!!)
1. ‘You never ________ when I’m talking to you.’
2. ‘You always take me for granted. You don’t even know I’m here. All I want is some __________.’
3. ‘I never see you. You’re always working. When are you ever going to spend some ________ with me?’
4. ‘Don’t you ever want to try anything new? Don’t you ever want to do anything different? Why are you so resistant to ________?
5. (Clue: the same word is used twice because it’s a biggie and it bears repeating twice.) Scenario: There’s only one TV working in the house. It’s Superbowl Sunday and you want to watch the game and she wants to watch a movie. You both want __________ of the TV. So you wrestle for the remote _________.
6. People fight about this all the time usually because there is not usually enough of it. Sometimes you save it and some times you spend it.____________
7. ‘Let’s get this project done. We work well together. We make a good __________.’
Here are the answers.
- Listen. When we listen, we show that we value the other person’s words. The best salespeople are the best listeners. The best managers are good listeners and incorporate the employees’ suggestions so the employees take ownership of implementing solutions. The best parents and spouses are good listeners. Give your Valentine the gift of listening.
- Attention. Everyone likes to feel unique and special. Customers like when you know their names and their kids’ names. Our loved ones like when we go out of our way to give them something that is reminiscent of who they are and of our relationship. Attention is proactive, a real reaching out to make the other person feel special. Give your Valentine the gift of attention.
- Time. You only have so much of it and it would be a shame not to give it to those who mean the most to you. Kids spell love T-I-M-E. Building customer trust takes some time also. Give your Valentine the gift of time.
- Change. Some people love it. Some people hate it. But it is always with us. Being adaptable and flexible means that you open yourself up to other people’s views and suggestions. You take a walk in their shoes and try on a new experience or perception. You take a risk and face your fears. Who knows, you might learn something? As the business world is changing so quickly, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor. Give your Valentine the gift of your ability to change.
- Control. There are always power plays. We’re human. We’re competitive. We like to be right. Why? Because we need self validation, because we want to build up our pride, because we think it builds our power. But power and respect are earned, not demanded. You can get more control and influence through offering listening, attention, time, and openness to change than through trying to exert control. Give your Valentine the gift of ‘being right’ and see what happens to ‘control’.
- Money. Employees seem to want more pay. Customers seem to want discounts. People seem to want things that require money. But if you look at customer loyalty studies, customers are more interested in the personal connection. If you look at employee loyalty studies, employees value money number four behind interesting work, full appreciation for the work they do, and a feeling of being in on things. Loved ones want you, your time and your attention. Certainly some money is necessary. But it only becomes all important when listening, attention, time, openness to change and sense of control are not present. Give your Valentine the gift of keeping money in perspective.
- Team. Everyone wants to feel included. Everyone wants to feel they are making a contribution to something bigger than themselves, that their lives have meaning. Doing things together provides that opportunity as well as shared experiences, trust, recognition of talent and leadership. Whether it be cleaning up the apartment or rolling out a new product, give your Valentine a chance to participate on a team.
If you want to be a hit this Valentine’s Day, or if you want everyday to be Valentine’s Day, personally and professionally, focus on giving these seven gifts every day.
Your challenge: Give 3 of these gifts everyday. Then increase it to 4, 5, 6 and 7 over time. At first it may be difficult depending on where you’re starting from. But after awhile, you’ll get such rewards from giving these gifts that you’ll look for opportunities to give more. If you ask anyone who’s done it, you’ll hear that the giver gets much more from the experience than the receiver. Happy Valentine’s Day!