Last week I called a client to relay my condolences on for the loss of a family member. Afterwards he immediately asked: "That's not why you called, right?" When I said that that was exactly why I had called, he fell silent and was truly moved. The opposite of this approach, on the other hand, was when a sick family member of an employee was a point on the agenda during a meeting, so that the manager would not forget this....sincere or not?
In a business environment results must be met, but won't we obtain better results if we truly have an eye for our employees? I vividly remember my turning point, as a manager, some 10 years ago. Returning to the office after a holiday no one in my team asked me how I had enjoyed it. At home I complained about this to my husband,. He asked me: "How often do you really make time for your team members?" Hmmm, sometimes, at the end of the day, I would ask something about their weekend, but on Monday morning my main priority was the results. And I must admit that when I did ask the question my eyes would wander to my laptop.
For me this moment was my "eye-opener" making clear to me that the line I drew between business and my private life was not that black and white, that it was important to show my human side at the office. It took me about 2 years to find a balance that I am comfortable with. ( how far do you go, how much do I tell, every detail? and am I not losing too much time by getting to really know my team members?) For me the answer is to act more on intuition and feeling in combination with your business common sense.
If you grant someone something, do not always expect something in return. Show some genuine interest and experience what that does for the other.
Moniek van Rheenen-Schreurs