Love Your Clients
I know some people get a little antsy when you start talking about "love" in the workplace. That's their prerogative. I also know that some of the most brilliant people I know embrace the idea with reckless abandon. I have decided to join forces with those people. Love and passion and deep human engagement are not only acceptable in the workplace, in my opinion, I think they are going to drive the more successful organizations and enterprises from now on. This is not a new idea, nor is it particularly radical. But people seem to be afraid of it. So let's just explore it and take some of the mystery out of it.
Here's one place to try out love: love your clients. If you a consultant or manage associations at an AMC like me, then this can mean client organizations. If you work in an organization of any size, you probably have internal "clients." Either way, you can try this one.
Love your clients.
You know what love means. Assume they have the best intentions. Forgive them when they hurt or annoy you. See the best in them. Sometimes give up what you want or need to make sure they also get what they want or need. Care about their interests. Celebrate their victories. Tell them the truth.
Note that it's not about emotional expression or anything particularly touchy feely. And it also doesn't mean you have to like your clients all the time. They will drive you crazy some times, just like YOU drive crazy the people that love you. But don't let that get in the way of the love.
Life is short. Love your clients.
Great post, Jamie! I think your argument applies just as much to those of us who don’t have clients. Just imagine if we all did these things you list with our co-workers, too–heck, with all the people we come into contact with day to day: “Assume they have the best intentions. Forgive them when they hurt or annoy you. See the best in them. Sometimes give up what you want or need to make sure they also get what they want or need. Care about their interests. Celebrate their victories. Tell them the truth.”
It would do us all good to read those sentences every morning as a reminder. Thank you for sharing them!
A refreshing perspective, Jamie. I’ve found myself a number of times in a group of association professionals who seem to make a sport out of trashing their clients and/or their Board members. As opposed to your view, they seem predisposed to see the worst in everyone.