Last week, we celebrated the day of love and romance. I thought we’d take the opportunity to draw some helpful conclusions and likenesses about relationships–both business and personal. Gestures and behaviors that result from being in love or caring for others are invaluable: listening, understanding, sacrifice, attention, patience. These qualities are necessary for the health of any relationship. Why? Because we’re human, and humans want to matter.
In his book, “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World,” Zig Ziglar wrote that “Children spell love T-I-M-E.” That stuck with me. As adults–lawyers, business consultants, dentists, CEOs, surgeons, store managers–we still have that feeling; we, too, spell love T-I-M-E. When we give others our time, we are telling them something: they matter; they really matter. The more of our time we give in a positive, exciting way, the more loved others are likely to feel. And vice versa.
Act Like A Human, Not A Salesperson
Love isn’t just about time. It’s also about listening to and understanding others. In Jerry Acuff VT, where we talk about thinking like a customer, we learn the value of truly understanding the other person. For Valentine’s Day, my wife understands that I don’t want flowers, but I know (and understand) that she does, and she will most definitely get them because of that. We also learn that nothing makes a person feel more valued than being genuinely listened to. That goes for your spouse, employee, customer, or best friend.
Want to make your partner feel loved? Make a sincere attempt to listen to him/her when they want to tell you about problems they’re having with 2 salespeople at work. Don’t get me wrong. Listening quietly is great, but it’s just as important be an engaged listener. That means, asking questions and participating in a conversation in which you truly seek to understand. If your partner is bursting at the seams to tell you how their boss disrespected him/her, then listen intently, be supportive, and understand where they’re coming from. In either case, you will make the other person feel as important as they truly are to you.
The same goes for clients or customers. To know what they truly need, you must listen and ask, but first, you must care enough to do so.
Showing Love Through Words
Love is also about words because they can hurt and they can heal. In fact, one of my favorite phrases is, “Words matter.” Too often we fail to tell our loved ones what they mean to us or how handsome or beautiful they look or just how grateful we are to have them in our lives. Having no words or few words is an action, and it doesn’t make someone feel loved. Words of affirmation are crucial, so tell them every day. When the right words are accompanied by the right actions, love is at its highest.
Showing Love Through Actions
Lastly, love is also based on actions. If we treat those we love with trust and respect, and do things that show how much you love them, they will feel it. In Jerry Acuff VT, we devote an entire section on a concept we call Unexpected Thoughtful Acts (U,T,A’s). Whenever we do thoughtful things (especially when they are not expected), we are doing actions that spell love and prove love. We expect gifts on birthdays, Valentine’s, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. But, consider sending flowers on January 14th, saying, “I sure am lucky you chose me. Love, Me.”
For our actions to be genuine and meaningful, they need to persistent, predictable and consistent in a positive way. In Jerry Acuff VT, we make that point. To be seen as an exceptional salesperson or to build a valuable relationship, all actions have to be consistent, persistent and predictable in a positive way, over time.
Love is spelled T-I-M-E, and it’s seen through actions.
To learn more about how words influence our relationships and engender powerful feelings, visit Jerry Acuff VT.